I’ve been working on the living room of the future and write about it quite a few other places including the BBC R&D blog.
Its part of the reason for the radio silence recently, but honestly the team of 3 universities and 2 arts organisations have been hard at work to create the live demonstrator of the living room of the future.
I won’t lie, its bloody exciting not only for the experience but what it enables and stands for. I highly recommend taking part in the research if you are able to come to Liverpool from Thursday 3rd – 8th May.
Of course I don’t want to reveal too much and although its hard to do much of a spoiler as its about a shared experience. Our twitter bot is doing a good job showing the inners of what going on if you are wondering.
There has been a question for a while which people always ask. Why the living room? To which I answer sensitive place, common private area for discussions, there are existing social hierarchies at play in the space and its place for small audiences. Its also a complex space which I’ve seen talked about a lot recently.
I found Millennials don’t need living rooms, piece from the Independent fascinating.
A prominent architect has argued millennials do not need living rooms and their housing prospects would be greatly improved if size regulations were overhauled.
Patrik Schumacher, who took over as head of Zaha Hadid Architects after the legendary founder died in early 2016, said “hotel room-sized” studio flats were ideal for young people who led busy lives.
In a paper published by the Adam Smith Institute, he suggested size rules should be reviewed to increase the number of studio flats available to those on lower incomes.
While a 25-square-metre flat is the minimum in Japan, in the UK the minimum is 37 square metres for a one-bed.
Although reading through the piece, it sounds like a land grab to change the regulation and fit even more property in smaller spaces. There is a slight point that the price of property is super high and this could help (IF) prices don’t increase they are currently.
Polly Neate, CEO of housing charity Shelter, hit back at the architect’s remarks. “Tiny homes don’t necessarily mean cheaper homes, and at Shelter we know that having a decent place to live is vital for people’s well-being. So compromising on space and quality isn’t going to do anyone any favours,” she told The Independent.
“Homes in the UK are not expensive because they are too large, they are too expensive because our housing market is broken. When big developers realise they can squeeze, for example, 20 tiny homes on the same patch of land that once fit just ten then the price of land will rise to reflect this.
“The solution to the housing crisis is not to build ever smaller homes but to bring down the price of land and build the type of genuinely affordable homes that people actually want to live in.”
My thoughts went back and forth while reading but I wondered if the living space is squeezed what will disappear? Maybe the living room or kitchen will be first to go, looking at Japanese flats for example.
There was a choice in building the living room of the future, that it should be big or small? What was it it and what wasn’t. We decided on small to reflect the trend on smaller shared spaces and the need for the 3rd space.
Looking at the other side of the living room project, it was also fascinating to read about the UK’s first smarthome with Apple home kit baked in. The obviously scares the life out of me but every buyer of smart homes should read the house which spied on me and also the follow up which explains how it worked.
In December, I converted my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco into a “smart home.” I connected as many of my appliances and belongings as I could to the internet: an Amazon Echo, my lights, my coffee maker, my baby monitor, my kid’s toys, my vacuum, my TV, my toothbrush, a photo frame, a sex toy, and even my bed.
Its super revealing and a very good long read. It speaks volumes about the different data which flows around our homes and spaces like the living room.
So what you waiting for, get yourself a ticket now!