As a group, humans tend to be fascinated with the idea of the future. Our imaginations offer plenty of room for ideas about where and how people will live in the future. With the world population growing at an exponential rate, these predictions have come to fruition in some cases. Some of these new housing trends are being seen in the U.S. and others are in countries with more extreme “rapid urbanization.”
Here are 5 examples of housing of the future:
- TINY HOUSES- This movement has entered the “mainstream” category as you can find documentaries on Netflix, TV shows and more about something called “tiny houses.” These are homes built with very sensible and efficient space planning, usually spanning only 500 square feet. They have reduced environmental impact and lower costs for their owners. Small houses have been around for many years but became popular again in America after the economic crisis in 2008.
- COHOUSES- After an article published by a Danish writer called “Every Child Should Have 100 Parents” modern, cohousing was born. Cohousing communities offer conjoined housing where multiple families share the common areas and household responsibilities. This trend has become quite popular in Europe but still slow growing in the U.S.
- SHIPPING CONTAINER HOMES- These homes are exactly what they sound like, homes made from shipping containers. This trend has taken the world by storm especially in Europe and the American West Coast. They first appeared in1987 out of Philip C. Clark’s patent for a “method of converting one or more steel shipping containers into a habitable building,” shipping container homes. Many of the container homes are comprised of more than one container and feature other structures. Interesting idea and cool looking, but their efficiency has been disputed due to them getting quite cold in the winter and warm in the summers.
- PASSIVE HOUSES- Passive homes aren’t often categorized by style but they are defined by their aggressive dedication to saving energy. This movement originated in Sweden in 1988 and then spread to the rest of Scandinavia and German speaking countries. Passive houses meet demanding efficiency standards for heating and cooling, energy consumption, and air leakage, using, on average, about one-fourth of the energy of traditional homes. The aim is to keep indoor climates livable without active temperature controlling systems, such as air conditioners and radiators.
- CAPSULE/MICRO APARTMENTS- The most famous micro apartments are in Tokyo (which were opened in 1972) and they look like something from a movie. Small, bubble windows and unique square shapes make this housing trend the most futuristic looking! Once very popular, today they are mostly barren. Most of its 140 compartment-sized living spaces are either vacant or used for storage. Still, capsule hotels remain popular in Japan, and small “capsule” apartments have recently caught on in crowded Chinese cities like Beijing where rent is super high and space is set at a premium. The first capsule/micro apartments are being built in New York due to be ready for move in in a few years. The idea is said to be like “fancy dorms for grown ups.”