#FutureHomes: Creating the next generation of homes

In the last 8 years I have been part of some amazing teams where we designed and built 3 different award-winning homes, but I still have a lot to learn and explore in order to achieve my dream: to create the next generation of homes.

I always tried to imagine the perfect home and after two pre-certified homes and working with Living Building Challenge, BREAM and Green Homes standard, I felt there's a lot of room for improvment. Today this type of certification only tackles the product, missing anything else.

From my point of view the perfect living / the perfect home should incorporate the following 3 dimensions and this is how I end up creating the CIP Diagram.

Each dimensions has its own requirements, but more on that soon. In the next 3 years I am going to dive in all of the following 3 areas in order to deeply understand how everything is linked together:

  • I. THE PRODUCT CALLED HOME
  • II. HOW DO WE INTERACT WITH OUR HOME (AND OTHERS’)
  • III. WHAT LIVING MEANS AND HOW IT’S CHANGING

Various disciplines are involved in creating the perfect living experience in #FutureHomes. I cannot tell if a single person could learn all of this, or an interdisciplinary team is necessary to work as an unified brain. Time will tell.


I. THE PRODUCT CALLED HOME

This is where I have the most experience and where sustainability standards (BREEAM, LEED, WELLBEING INSTITUTE) are doing a great job of getting the bigger picture.

To do: In the next 3 years, I want to design 3 homes in 3 different extreme and harsh environments. I cannot say what is the level of details I am going to achieve and when, but the plan is to go as far as possible and one day to actually build each one of them.

In the last edition of Solar Decathlon, I learnt once again that there is so much knowledge across the world in creating homes, knowledge accumulated in centuries that is related to climate, culture & heritage, economy & durability, user-experience & sharing communities, lessons from the past we don't know and apply, missed opportunities knocking on our doors.

3 different homes in 3 very different places

  • one in the extremely hot (let’s say Sahara)
  • one in the extreme cold (let’s say Nord Pole)
  • the last one, most difficult, on Mars (waiting for other smart people to decide the place of the colony).

II. HOW DO WE INTERACT WITH OUR HOME (AND OTHERS’)

What we see now is the rise of smart homes, everyone is working to create the best interface possible (Siri, Alexa, Google Home, Josh), but the lack of smart hardware and smart services that could seemingly work together is one of the main challenges now.

We started to see an increasing number of IoT devices that promise to make our life easier, but what about making our life better or happier? Another trend I see is glass technology (which I love), but when is too much? Having digital content following you everywhere and appearing anywhere is kind of creepy.

Another trend that matters in how we interact with our homes or others' is the rising of professional organisers and tidying consultants, the Konmari method and other similar methods that helps you with managing your home, but what if we could design a home where this is not necessary, a house hard to clutter and easy to declutter, a house that is defragmenting itself.

Furthermore, I hope to succesfully translate to housing and homes all the progress achieved in UX/UI of digital products, because we’ve seen big transformations in the last decade, and no much innovation of the construction side.

To do: In trying to figure things out I will go to five different user journeys.

  • spatial, starting from the way home, after work, room by room and ending on the way to work.
  • category based, thinking at every object that exists in an average home and analysing how many big categories are there, how, where and when we interact with different categories
  • time-bound, starting in the morning and ending after sleeping, a millisecond before waking up.
  • age-related, analysing what are the differences in which a baby is interacting with home and how old people, some of which are sick, are doing it. How the needs are changing in a lifetime.
  • sensorial and emotional, how can you design an environment for 5 senses and 6 emotions, how could you house trigger any one of them, get you out of depression or enhance your experience as a whole, and is it possible to get in love with your home? I know that loving an AI it's dangerous.

III. WHAT LIVING MEAN AND HOW IT’S CHANGING

I will try to understand how the concept of living is changing, from the generations perspective, what are the differences between X, Y and Z generations. There’s already shift in ownership, we are heading to homes on wheels for the masses, and we see shared spaces everywhere.

To do: I aim to find out the answers for some very hard questions, I want to have more discussions about the concept of living beyond the product, about communities and about the sense of belonging.

The perfect balance between personalisation and standardisation

Is there and jocker here, one that we could use to make a standardised home feel like a personalised one? What if we can design and build houses where we can feel at home from the very moment? How can we trick senses and create the perception of home anywhere making everyone independent, but also happy and satisfied, at an affordable price?

Learn at home, Work at home, Hospital at home, Farmer at home

Today we spend half of our life at home because we still have to go to work, shopping, school or hospital. But as the 4th industrial revolution is coming with some exciting disruptive technology.

We already started to work from home, to learn from home watching online coursese and playing interactive educational games, and checking our health at home. Soon we will be bringing the hospital at home and urban famring is already a reality from low tech to high tech solutions. The question is what how much time we will be staying at home? Will it drop or go higher? And if it will go higher (probably), what is going to happen with our social life?


Conclusion

My goal is to find out if there’s a perfect design to fit all 3 dimensions, or we need multiple modular designs to satisfy present and future requirements of the user that are sharing home temporary or permanent.

Me dream is to create a living experience that enhance happiness and wellbeing, while brining people and communities closer. All this should have an affordable price, while having a positive impact on the environment.

I know it may sound impossible to achieve this and to learn all this in the next 3 years, but I always loved big & challenging goals and this is a journey important enough for me to pursue, to wake am energised in the morning.


Passionate about homes? Let's talk!

I have 8 years experience in world's most important competition for sustainable homes — Solar Decathlon, participating in 3 editions with 3 different homes: 2012 Madrid, 2014 Versailles and 2018 Dubai winning more than 35 awards.

Every house is 100% electric, fully-functional and fully equipped, and it has to be modular, easy and fast to assemble. All the houses in the competition are tested across 10 different contests: from architecture & engineering to energy, comfort and house functioning. This is the most holistic way so far in designing and creating homes, but there's room for more.

If you too share this dream of creating the next generation of homes or if you are passionate about future homes, here or on Mars, drop me an email on mihai@toaderpasti.com or contact me via Facebook/LinkedIn to talk more. I’d love to.


One more thing. Actually 3 things, homes.