My mind is still stewing and chewing up all the information I can find on the Cultural Creatives; and, what kind of an impact can be made by many of us innovative thinkers on a very hard hit housing market here in the US and the world at large. We are in sore need of re-building our industry and the way we live, so why not do so with some critical thinking, creativity and planning?
As an ex trend director and one who writes about trends in the housing arena, here are a few trends that I think need looking at as we move forward in this decade, and beyond, and as we rebuild the way we design, build, and live in, our homes: The over riding trend in all aspects of housing is sustainability. And I mean in depth sustainability on every level; financial, building materials and practices, energy use, size, design; and all with in the context of community. Here is my list of the top 7 trends:
- Slow Down and Simplify: The whole Slow Movement is…slowly (no pun intended) beginning to make inroads in small progressive towns around our country, like here in Sebastopol. It’s about simplifying life, making a personal connection with the people in your family, friends and your community. It’s about getting back to basics in many instances.
- Wholistic approach to design: It’s no longer sufficient to design a home in a vacuum. Our homes are an extension and a reflection of us and our lives, so how we eat, how we relate to the environment around us, what we do, and our sense of style are just some of the things to pay attention to when designing a home for our clients or…ourselves. I’ve created a modality called Energetics of Space™ that I use with with all my projects.
- Right Size/Down Size: With the aging of the baby boomer generation it is true that downsizing is often what people are looking to do. I prefer to call it right sizing. Having lived in a studio in NYC, as well as growing up in a large home, I’ve been exposed to all sizes and shapes. The key question in my mind that must be answered by each of us individually is…how much space do we really need? Remember, it’s not the size that matters, but rather what you do with it. This is a key place that architects and interior designers can play a big role. To create functionality and beauty at the same time is an art!
- Renovate, Remodel, Reuse, Restore: These days with the economy the way it is, and the loss of housing values, it will make more sense to renovate, remodel or restore the space we live in rather then sell and buy up, or erase and build new. This ranges from simply updating your kitchens and bathrooms (still great returns on your investment) to historical restorations of towns and homes. Remember, it’s all about the plan when you renovate!
- Green building/Environmental consciousness: There is no doubt about it, the eco/green field in housing is growing by leaps and bounds daily! Keeping up is a full time job. there are many places to go to find out what is available. And when planning your own living space it’s a good place to use professionals who keeps up with what’s happening in their field!
- Community: Town squares-Co Housing- Eco Villages-and intentional Communities are all viable alternatives to the isolation that many of us find ourselves in day to day living. As we begin to pay attention to re-building our sense of community as well as re-building our communities themselves, we must approach as if from a permaculture practice; with mutual support and encouragement, cooperation, and recognition of our collective interdependence.
- Collaboration: in the design field combined with Urban development is key to generating new ideas and to fostering a multi dimensional approach to our problems. Some of this is happening in cross industry retreats such as the DO lectures that will take place later this year in Wales. We are finally beginning to sit down and share ideas across different fields as to how we can all support our field and our world.
This is not one of my “sexy/pretty” blog posts, but rather one that is meant to be thought provoking, as well as a call to action for both friends in my industry as well as the lay person. I believe it’s time to address these issues head on in a way that will create much needed change. This is meant only as jumping off point for a much larger conversation with in each of these trends. I plan on exploring each of these further in depth over the next year. If any of you wish to contribute to the conversation, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s collaborate!
Change CAN be A Little Bit of Beauty™, don’t you think?
If you know of anyone who this might resonate with, or to my friends in the industry, please share these ideas with everyone you know as a place to start the conversation and collaboration in your community!
I also invite you to share your thoughts, comments and ideas below in the comment section. I’d love to start a dialog on what we can do individually and collectively.