Every aspect of our lives, especially our homes, are changing to address the rapid development of new technology and our ever-increasing awareness of sustainability. This will inevitably transform the way we interact with day-to-day activities and the way we live within our house.
We did some research and asked futurologist, Dr. Ian Pearson to give us some insight to help us create a clearer vision of the future abode in 2050. With mentions of virtual windows and robots in the kitchen, the high-tech homes of the future drew parallels with classic futuristic films like The Terminator and Blade Runner.
Apart from the eco-conscious mindset, we will also see changes to the size of homes. Houses that are now standing will most likely still exist in 2050, however, Dr. Ian Pearson predicts that cities like London and Manchester will require a solution to their ever-expanding population. We will utilise hyper-strong materials to build skyscrapers towering at 10km high in a pyramid form, allowing us to accommodate as many people as possible. These building structures will have micro-flats suitable for a single-person, while some of these won’t have physical windows, these flats will be equipped with virtual windows simulating real daylight and weather.
While medical advances and better living environments have prolonged the average life expectancy, the population of 65 years and older is continuously growing.
According to the NHBC foundation, we may see two kinds of homes emerge to accommodate for this age group. There will be lifetime homes, which are homes that will be flexible enough to eventually accommodate for the reduction of physical and cognitive mobility of its residents. This includes additional lift and level access into and throughout the home, and level access showers. We may also see the secondary bedroom being used as a study, a temporary space for a carer or a guest room for visitors or grandchildren. Alternatively, we will see the growth of supported living. The apartments will be organised into distinctive ‘shared villas’, which is a type of housing that promotes independence and dignity for those who require additional care rather than feeling like they are in an institution.
Research shows that by 2050, temperatures are projected to have risen by a range of 2.8 to 5.4 degrees. This will result in overheating in buildings, according to the Committee on Climate Change, over ‘approximately 7,000 heat-related deaths [will occur] per year in the 2050s, a tripling of the current average’ if no action is taken. In 30 years, we will not only see policies regarding carbon free homes being implemented, we will see more responsive homes in the future. Therefore, homes will be equipped with heat pumps that convert low-grade energy to more intense heat, such as heat pumps rather than traditional sources of energy for heat.
The development of technology have allowed us to create devices that helps us gain better control of our energy usage in modern day life. Energy efficient appliances, like LED lighting, heat pumps and app controlled appliances, are only the first step to minimising the environmental damage caused by our use of electricity.
Dr. Ian Pearson expects that the efforts to reduce the carbon emissions produced by our electricity usage will be met by 2050. By then, fossil fuels will not be the main source of our electricity generation. but instead, every household will be required to be powered by renewable energy. This would not only mean that homes will be greener, it will also be less expensive to run.
We have already seen a dramatic change within our kitchen spaces as we happily talk to our smart device in the form of Alexa, Siri and Google’s Home assistant. Kitchens will continue to see major transformations. In 2050, there will be robots in the living space that will help cook with higher proficiency and accuracy. Self timers, automatic chopping and even 3D food printing will all become the norm making cooking an easy and enjoyable experience.
Style and interior have become an important part of displaying individuality and unique preferences we have within our homes. By 2050, redecorating might be available as an everyday option. The development of smart fabric will allow furniture to change appearance, colours, patterns and textures rather easily this will allow people to change their décor frequently, making redecorating an easy everyday option. This will also address some of our concerns over waste production when disregarding old furniture.
Our homes will also improve our wellbeing in 2050. This can be done by creating the perfect sleeping environment for each person. This may be by using anti-sound technology, or optimising the level of light for the perfect circadian cycle, and even the incorporation of pollen and virus filters. Additionally, beds in 2050 can adjust fabric textures, rigidity and temperature for a personalised, well-rested night’s sleep.
Most houses that will be standing by 2050 will have already been built, while the homes of the future may not look like the curvy white pods on the outside, the interiors will still see some drastic changes. These transformations are not only a result of societal changes, but it is also a response to developing technologies and environmental issues. Let us know what you would like to see or what you think about #ChristmasIn2050 by tagging us on Facebook or on Twitter @ViessmannUK.