What Will the Homes of the Future Really Look Like?

house of the future maynard image

Andrew Maynard

Andrew Maynard tweets about a slideshow of Homes of the Future on CNBC that features his Airdrop House. Author Daniel Bukszpan writes:

A quick look outside shows that the home of the future as depicted in films never quite caught on. Contenders are still being built, however. It's just that society's priorities have changed--homes are being designed with an eye toward sustainability and energy efficiency. These concerns are giving architects opportunities to push boundaries, break taboos, and try new things.

But are these really a realistic vision of the future?

house of the future mercury house

Mercury House One from Arturo Vittori of Architecture and Vision is a mobile home designed for the 2009 Venice Biennale and being Italian, it is clad in white marble.

ecopod photo
Lloyd Alter

Also included is the EcoPod, a modest and economical container conversion.


Interestingly, outside of the Canadian Ecopod, there's not a North American house in the lot, and all of the others are big custom single family numbers in the suburbs or the countryside. Coincidentally I was reading James Howard Kunstler in Orion this morning. His home of the future is very different:

I expect many suburbs will become squats, ruins, and salvage yards. Out of necessity, we will have to forage and reuse all kinds of materials that were energy-intensive to make, from aluminum trusses to concrete blocks.

He thinks the house of the future will be in a different milieu:

Compact, dense, mixed-use, and composed of neighborhoods based on the quarter-mile walk from center to edge--the so-called five-minute walk, which is a transcultural norm found everywhere in pre-automobile urban communities.

I think it is time to put together a slideshow of the real homes of the future: small, passive, medium density and urban. Watch for it.