The living room of the future: the place we call home

Retro future living room

Retro future living room

Step into the living room of the future and what will you see? Many people start dreaming of technology. The internet of things that connects all the products in the house. Screens that make you communicate and be involved in all kinds of experiences, whether it be gaming, shopping, or meditating. But in essence, our living room is the place we call home. It is where we can be ourselves, where we gather the stuff that we want to have closest to us. We choose materials and items that reflect who we are. The question is now, what will make us feel at home in thirty years from now? With all the advantages of future technology, what are the things that are most important to us in our private space?

At home, but in the world

The promise of new technology holds many things. And many see the future of the living room packed with technology. Wall paper flat screens which blend in with your interior design. These screens can be used for many things. Home shopping where you make 3D scan of yourself, see yourself sitting on a terrace in Rome with your new outfit. See a glimpse of your vacation on a tropical island. Do some fitness. Or project that you are in a coffee shop, when you need the soft noise of voices to help you concentrate at a writing job.

Making life easy

Our chores at home get easier. The internet of things connects your fridge to your online shopping list for home delivery and tells you when you need these items to be restocked. No more sticky surfaces with self cleaning materials. No more unexpected breakdown of products. All data stored in the cloud inform you about maintenance schedules to make life easy.

Tailored to you

As many people live in the same house and do their own things, everybody has their own needs. Some like it warmer, some colder. Some need bright lights, some need it dimmed. Your living room will need to provide as many tailored options for most people. That means, warm where the couch is, cooler at the dinner table. More light at the chair in the corner, but not when your brother sits there, and so on. Smart control panels can be trained to accommodate light and temperature to the needs of a household. So that most of the time, it is pretty much the way you like.

What it really means to be at home

These technological advantages are one thing. But the essence is being at a place you call home and is connected to who you are. Our stuff, whether it is furniture, flooring or styling items, build our identity. We buy stuff not only because we think it looks nice, also because things match with who we are of who we want to be. The stuff in your house is like cloths, an expression of who you are. As our wardrobes change faster and faster, we get in a similar way less attached to most of the items in our living room, some exceptions there. That means we can move around the world take a few items with us and have new stuff at a new place. We can always be in transit and still make a place our home in no time.

The experience of authentic

With our lives in transit all the time, we don’t buy stuff for eternity. Despite the wish for more sustainable natural materials, these tend to be more expensive, which does not make sense if we plan to use it for just a couple of years. Cheaper materials, up-cycled from used materials, with the expression of wood or stone or wool, do the same trick for us. That is, stimulate the senses, leave an impression and create an ambience in which we can feel happy. That is what the home is all about, make us feel happy, connected and relax to charge up our batteries for all that we need to accomplish in life.

About Freija Van Duijne

Twitter: @FreijavanDuijne Futuring is my passion. I am fascinated about what the future might bring. Always looking around for leads about the future and open for new insights. I am futurist, trendwatchter and strategist at the The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, a thinktank in the Netherlands. My background is in Human factors psychology. I did my Masters at Leiden University and I did a PhD in Delft University at the faculty of Industrial design engineering. I have been involved in foresight studies since 2006. I am frequently asked as an expert for future studies in area of food, natural resources, health and governance. I am also a speaker and workshop facilitator on futures studies, trend presentations and the many topics that I blog about. My contributions to Futuristablog represent my own personal opinion and is never a statement of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
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