Magazine article The Futurist

Home of the Future

Magazine article The Futurist

Home of the Future

Article excerpt

SANCTUARY, SHOWCASE, OR FORTRESS, THE HOME IS A REFLECTION OF HUMAN VALUES AND LIFESTYLES. HERE IS A DANISH VISION OF TOMORROW'S DREAM HOMES.

Home is your castle; it is a fortress against outside invaders, a sanctuary from external stress.

Home is where you hang your hat; you sleep, shower, change clothes, and occasionally eat there.

Home is where your heart is; you invite over your friends and relatives, greet important visitors such as your boss and favored clients.

The home is the most personal of all human habitats, and the home of the future--from its furniture to its landscaping--will accommodate the distinct needs, values, and lifestyles of tomorrow's homeowners. While some castle-keepers will want to hold on to the traditions of the past, others will want the latest in hightech home communications and entertainment.

Denmark's Institute for Futures Studies in Copenhagen took on the task of developing a set of alternative visions of what Danish families of tomorrow will want their homes to be like. The Institute found that not all Danes they surveyed were interested in futuristic gadgets--the so-called "smart house." Some 30% said, in essence, that any change should be ignored and that the only things that matter are the basic, eternal needs of the family.

On the other hand, 15% reported a fascination with change, according to Karen Schousboe, head of research at the Institute. These are the avant-garde who enjoy fashion and fads.

Some of the things that the Institute believes almost all Danes will share in the next 10 to 20 years include more pressure on available time due to longer workdays; increased interest in hobbies, health activities, and cultural pursuits; more space in the home due to smaller family sizes; increased interest in the environment and nature, manifesting itself in landscape designs and gardening, especially organic foods.

"The project ended up by presenting a number of visions for the future of the home," Schousboe told THE FUTURIST. "These visions were presented as a (long) list of conclusions, stories in the form of a 'novel' concerning the 'lifetypes,' with which we worked in the project, plus finally a long list of new products (about 1,000), which were developed during seminars |at the Institute~. Finally, we had a designer draw up visions of a number of 'homes of the future' based on the conclusions reached in the seminars."

The project's artist, Philip Bro Ludvigsen (called one of Denmark's brightest young designers by Design magazine of London), illustrated four different homes of the future. …

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