Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Making Technology-led Design Stylish


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Real estate shows are increasingly being dominated by smart-first construction, as exemplified by the AP’s report on Control4’s unique house design at Design Construction Week. Technology does not necessarily square with good design, though, but signs are that creative architecture is finally reacting to the changing market. 

Driving the industry

The driving force behind this change is a changing market. Increasingly, according to Forbes, young people are moving into urban centres dominated by baby boomer and seniors, whereas the latter group are looking or smaller homes upon which they can withdraw equity using reverse mortgages and use that money to fund later life adventures. Both undertakings call for technology – younger generations value the latest tech, and baby boomers and seniors have need of smart design for their safety and independence. Homes like the Green Builder Media Flex House, released in January, are finding popularity from both markets.

Integrating eco-friendly measures

Environmentalism is starting to become an indelible part of modern home design as authorities put pressure on developers to become sustainable. Buoyed by huge projects such as Stefano Boeri’s Nanjing Vertical Forest, many new smart homes are using the ability of plants to provide a stylish shroud, all without impacting on connectivity, to design their new smart homes in an effective and aesthetically pleasing manner. Expect to see more green homes in the coming years.

How about hidden appliances? 

One of the biggest sticking points for smart devices in the home is their design. If you have your house set up in a certain way, through interior, exterior and furniture layout, it can be galling to have any more than one device that goes against the grain of your overall design. According to Science Mag, serious advances have been made in producing materials that have impressive connectivity and conductivity through the use of graphene. In the future, this may well allow house designers to create wall spaces that can be easily adjusted to hide appliances without compromising the stylish interior of the home. 

Smart devices are a non-negotiable factor of many new homes, and designers have to be aware of this. While for years the two have been seen as non compatible, new technology and design trends are pairing with market appetite to push towards fabled compatibility. Expect to see the smart home design market flourish as a result.

I enjoy being part of Urban Splatter as it continues to create evolving opportunities within the digital realm of architecture.


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