As we adapt to increasingly unpredictable futures, resilience has become an important aspect of life. Since the resources such as air, water and soil which we are dependent on, will become contaminated and scarce, the work on hyper-resiliency will become more and more important. Yet, we are likely to live longer and healthier lives. New technologies emerge which allow us to handle this unexpected future, but which constantly reshape our behaviors and way of life. This progression raises several questions: How might climate change influence our living environment and thus the way our homes will be designed? What will we call home if we become more nomadic? How will we move in the future if the population density within cities increase? Will the blur between the digital and the physical realms and the access to digital data intensify the division in society?
In this series, we will explore the futures worlds in two aspects: future of home and future of mobility. Go explore the futures with us!
Future of Home
Each of us has a different answer to the question of what home is. Some might associate home with functional aspects like a place to shelter, to recharge or simply to store. Others might associate home with abstract meanings like a sense of belonging, trust or freedom. These very meanings, practical and abstract, direct the way we create and organize our domestic space, tools, technologies, and human relationships within spatial environments.
Continuously shifting factors, like climate change, contagious disease outbreaks, or economic crises will keep influencing and reshaping the way we live.
Many people will leave their home behind in search of a more habitable place. As the temperature continues to increase, major coastal cities will be flooded by 2050 – leading to even bigger waves of migration. Air pollution is prevalent in most places around the world and particularly dense in megacities like London and Beijing. These changing contexts and factors will alter the way we relate to the concept of home.
As birth-rates worldwide continue to drop dramatically, the elderly will outnumber the young, and as a result, the definition of a household and a family will evolve. In this instance, more people will choose not to build a family in a conventional sense. Instead, groups of friends will decide to form a household and create a new kind of family. More people will stay single and live alone for a longer period.
While life is freer, an increased sense of loneliness is apparent.
Paradoxically many will lack the financial means to rent a place on their own – let alone owning one. Co-living among non-biologically relatives will become a widely adopted way of living in most urban cities. Making the family shift from reproduction to kinship with an expanding circle of care. The new household configuration will require a new kind of design for spaces, services, and products to answer the emerging challenges such as: designing for all ages and disabilities, the right balance between private and public life, as well as how we interact with and care for others.
Future of Mobility
Mobility has always been seen as a basic need. Whilst the European trade of goods beyond regional distances emerged in the middle ages, it is nowadays not only goods that are transported across the globe, but also financial capital, data and people. Mobility is the way we overcome distances between human activities such as living, working, education and leisure. The way of moving changes constantly, but the reason why we are moving stays constant even with time.
Today, mobility is inseparable from globalization, digitalization, and urbanization.
This hyper-connected world enables our society to be part of an endless flow of goods, data and knowledge. Billions of people particularly younger generations will live in densely populated towns or megacities, in order to be part of a global network with better access to education and job prospects that suits their ideals.
Being on the move offers numerous prospects for our daily lives, however, it also brings challenges.
One such challenge is the serious environmental impacts caused by traffic congestion across land, air, sea and even space. This increasing global migration has initiated and exacerbated many disease outbreaks and as a result, is raising questions that challenge our future mobility assumptions. Questions such as: How will we move in the future if the population density within cities increase, but resources such as petroleum, lithium and air become even rarer? How might the blur between the digital and the physical sphere shape the way we move, work and interact? Will the future of mobility, hence the public sphere of moving, be determined by new hygienic regulations?
To explore the Future of Home and the Future of Mobility, we will delve deeper into various future scenarios covering topics like resilience, togetherness and ubiquity in the following articles.
What does this all add up to? Continue reading part 2 of our future narratives.