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Trends at #DDW17: Future living

20 April 2018

How will we live in the future? And how should we live in the future? These are two questions that various participants have explored during the last year. An important topic today when you consider the current developments in which more and more people prefer living in cities over living in the countryside.

At the moment, 75% of the European population lives in urban areas and the expectation is that this will continue to rise to 80% by 2050. Another way of life and living will be the inevitable result. What is this new habitat going to look like? Various academy- and University of Technology students, collectives as well as Winy Maas, our 2017 DDW ambassador, have provided a glimpse of a potential, new residential environment. 

(W)EGO Hotel. Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode

Multi-functional living spaces 

With 17 million residents on 41,526 km2, the Netherlands is the most densely populated country within Europe. At least, when compared to countries with over 10 million residents. How do we deal with this limited space? Design Academy students Christian Hammer Juhl and Alice Bleton came up with inventive solutions to this problem. Christian Hammer Juhl developed a furniture collection, 10:1, comprising an inflatable sofa, chair and stool. When you no longer need it, you deflate the furniture reducing it to 10% of its normal size so you can easily put it away. At the other end of the spectrum, Alice Bleton looked at the concept of space itself. Inspired by space ships, boat cabins and bunkers, she came up with the idea of creating a modular unit: the Monade Capsule. This object can function as an extension to any building and landscape. It lifts flexible living spaces to an entirely new level. Together with The Why Factory, the research institute from Delft University of Technology, DDW ambassador Winy Maas also explored flexible residential possibilities. A combination was sought between maximum density and maximum customer satisfaction. The result was (W)ego, a life-sized concept for housing exhibited on the Grote Markt, the main market square of Eindhoven. Here, individual living environments flowed together in tune with the speculative wishes of city dwellers. In line with Christian Hammer Juhl, Sander Lorier too designed a solution for the products that we use. The Hybrid Chair is a multi-functional piece of furniture that can easily be transformed from a lounge chair to an office- or dining chair. 

Hybrid Chair. Photo: Cleo Goossens

Sensory living environments

More people on fewer square meters also means that it is more difficult to find peace and quiet. The concept Contemplation Spaces by curator Justine Kontou provides the answer. These experiential spaces trigger all senses and dispose of a combination of art, design, installations, sounds, smells and tactile characteristics. It is Justine Kontou’s belief that art and creativity have a soothing effect. It improves your mood. This effect could literally be experienced during Dutch Design Week in The Student Hotel.  

Contemplation Spaces. Photo: Nick Bookelaar


How are we going to manoeuvre in this decreasing living environment? The University of Technology students showcased various ideas that could take us from A to B more quickly and efficiently. The project Volo showed us that a city with self-driving cars will be upon us sooner than we think. What is our role as a passenger in such a vehicle? The students created a simulation system that helped visitors getting used to this way of travelling. Hyperloop is a transport system that enables extremely fast travelling using pressurized tubes. This method of transport has no detrimental effect on the environment. This means that a better world and travelling can go hand-in-hand. 

The future of our city? Multi-functional furniture, mobile dwellings, sensory living environments and transportation as fast as the speed of sound, are just a handful of the many solutions that DDW 2017 presented us with.