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The future of our residential environment

28 September 2018

Design Innovation Group, DSD-PV
This year, Dutch Design Week presents 8 design trends that mark the most important developments in the field of design. The second trend focuses on Architecture and Public Space.

In this trend, both graduates and established architects turn their minds to the future and present architecture and public spaces from new perspectives. What will our residential environment look like in the future? Will we be able to erect climate-neutral buildings in the future? You can learn about circular building during DDW18 and experience for yourself what it is like to work with biomaterial. A whole range of solutions are on show: houses built from hempcrete that absorb more CO2 than they release, energy-generating façades, decentralised water purification systems and a 3D-printed steel bridge.

Circular building

The embassy of Circularity provides a glimpse of the house of the future. What opportunities lie ahead for a new residential environment and for building it? These perspectives go further than solutions for the interior and answer deeper social issues. We see new self-regulating and decentralised systems like water purification systems management by the residents. This project from the Civil Engineering faculty at TU/e demonstrates that decentralised systems, giving people more responsibility, is an effective way for living more sustainably. The faculty presents an example of such a system in Berlin from practice. The apartment complex has composting toilets that filter urine and transform it into water controlled by the residents. This demonstrates the potential of decentralisation. It makes people more aware of the fact that the more rubbish they throw into water, the more you have to purify it. You can learn more about this circular way of living in Klokgebouw.

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The architects from Werkstatt build on this trend with the circular hemp house. They have given new purpose to Dutch hemp cultivation and developed a new biomaterial: hempcrete, in which lime is mixed with hemp wood. This results in insulating ‘hempcrete’ that creates a pleasant interior climate for homes because the material breathes and has regulating properties. This approach to building absorbs more CO2 than it releases. This applies to the entire chain: from cultivating through to demolishing, but what happens to the material once the house has been torn down? Hempcrete is an effective soil improver for agriculture and so it remains useful, even after it has been demolished. This completes the circle. During DDW, visitors can get to work with the material themselves. Read more about learning to build with hempcrete here. 

© Werkstatt

Energy-generating façades

The architects from UNstudio collaborated with several partners (ECN > TNO, Design Innovation Group, TS Visuals, Aldowa and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) on the integration of solar panels in façades and walls. The ambition is to achieve fully sustainable buildings that extract the maximum potential from sunlight. That means that, in addition to roof panels, buildings need to be covered with energy-generating façades. The product, DSD-PV, is completely adaptable to the wishes of architects in terms of appearance. It can be applied subtly so that it does not make a discernible difference to the appearance of a building. The infinite variations can be seen in Klokgebouw.

Technologisation in architecture

The role that 3D printing and robotisation can play for public spaces is visible in the MX3D bridge by designer Joris Laarman. This completely steel printed footbridge incorporates a smart sensor network that monitors various factors, like air quality, temperature and the performance of the bridge including tension and movement. This bridge is to be located at the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam at the end of 2018. This project shows the possibilities for producing large scale infrastructure through employing a combination of   3D printing with The Internet of Things. The MX3D bridge will be shown to the public for the first time during Dutch Design Week and can be seen on the Ketelhuisplein.

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The future through the eyes of graduates

How does the young generation look at our residential environment? This year in Veem, Archiprix 2018 presents the best graduation projects in the field of Dutch architecture. Winner of the Archiprix 2018: Jesper Baltussen from Eindhoven University of Technology has a contemporary and tangible proposal for adapting the spatial division of the Upper House of the States General. The emphasis is primarily on improved visitor infrastructure. Landscape architect Barbara Prezelj from Delft University of Technology presents the project Unfamiliar Territory in which she appeals for a new approach to tackling the most polluted and unreclaimed areas. She looks 300 years into the future to a new reality that demands different processes. Through looking at this differently, without social colouration, we can find solutions. You will encounter still more future solutions for public spaces in the exhibition ‘Exploring the field in’ by ArtEZ graduates. This exhibition can be visited at the Designperron.
During DDW, we experience the opportunities that creativity, technologisation and circular thinking have to offer for our future habitat. The theme this year: circular building, more research into biomaterials and decentralised systems, placing more responsibility with the user. Is this the way to a cleaner and more habitable future?