Home Design Architecture

Rethinking Home Design Architecture And Coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues to spread, we find ourselves spending more and more time at home. Rooms where we once spent only a few waking hours now consume our entire existence. While this may or may not be a short-term change for many of us, it is sure to have lasting effects and serve to remind us how important our homes are to our daily lives. Typically in terms of crisis, we look to create environments that are comforting, safe, and dependable – because typically, our life depends on it.

This crisis will undoubtedly garner a renewed appreciation for our domestic space. People will value their homes more than ever before.

As an interesting thought exercise, we’re sharing how this new reality may reshape the future of home design. Here are our thoughts on rethinking home design architecture:

More interest and awareness in sustainability and self-sufficiency

In general, we’ll have a more informed sense of how our homes and their systems work. We’ll want to increase efficiency and resiliency while reducing waste and dependence in terms of resources and cost. Reducing dependency on third parties, most of which may become unreliable in the changing economy, will become more and more important. This will lead to a more pronounced interest in incorporating more reliable and sustainable infrastructure at home to minimize reliance on the grid, on the municipality, and on the global supply chain. More so, we predict a shift towards autonomous living and self-sufficiency through self-generating energy and growing our food.

Increased emphasis on health and hygiene

We’ll see more awareness and prioritisation on staying healthy and taking the necessary measures to ensure our homes facilitate this. Hepa filters and fresh-air intake will become a bigger priority. This may also lead to more compartmentalisation of spaces for cleansing and transitioning. For example, entry foyers and mudrooms may become more important to contain, wash, and disinfect oneself and one’s clothing before entering the rest of the home. In terms of health and wellness, we’ll see more interest in exercise spaces and meditation/yoga areas, since we’ll be spending more time at home. Sunrooms will become more popular in colder climates to provide natural daylight and vitamin D when we can’t be outdoors. Edible gardens and home-grown food production will increase in efforts to control the quality and quantity of our food intake.

Renewed interest in designing public and private space

When designing a dwelling, there’s a delicate balance in creating space for privacy and community – within the same room, from room to room, and from home to neighbourhood. As we spend more time living, working, playing, and learning in the home, the design of our spaces will need to reflect this diversity in activities and in occupants. Whether we need dedicated spaces for private activities like working, sleeping, or studying or more open multi-purpose spaces that are flexible for various functions and occupants, it becomes more and more important to address the fact that as a family unit and an individual, we’re spending more and more time at home doing things that require varying degrees of separation and community.

The concepts of privacy, individual space, and the relationships between the individual and the family and the family and the neighborhood are at the forefront of our minds. And while we need our homes to be flexible in accommodating temporary activities of all kids, more importantly, we need to enjoy the spaces regardless of what functions they serve.

How can smaller spaces perform multiple duties, but still create a separation of work life and home life?

Emphasis on natural daylighting and connection to the outdoors

As we spend over 90% of our day indoors, on average, the importance of remaining connected to the outdoors and having access to natural daylight and sun increases. A healthy interior space incorporates natural light, natural ventilation, and connection to the outdoors (whether that connection is physical or only visual). This becomes especially important where physical access to the outdoors is limited either due to weather, geographical location, or personal circumstance.  Increased natural daylighting and ventilation have a whole slew of benefits: energy conservation, better general interior light levels, better indoor air quality, and improved well-being and health to name a few.

More emphasis on creatively using space

Spending more time at home also means finding creative ways to use existing space. Converting an attic to usable space or finishing a basement could provide valuable real estate for a home office, an exercise room, or a play area for the kids. In general, finding ways to make spaces more functional, more efficient, and more fluid will be key, as will finding uses for underutilized spaces, like seeking out space under the stair to help provide much-needed storage space. The importance of storage will increase as we seek to find more ways to cleverly conceal our personal and household items. As we store more food, toiletries, and even board games and mementos, creative storage solutions will be needed to help maintain a clutter-free and organized home.

Final Thoughts

A home’s primary function is to provide shelter, but we increasingly ask it to perform more and more roles. While we don’t know for sure what’s in store for the future in home design architecture, we do know that the focus will be on a wide range of design issues relating to the topics we mention above… privacy, community, flexibility, efficiency, self-sufficiency, sustainability, wellness, health, and hygiene. And we’re sure this list will continue to grow as homes become more central to our existence.

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