The new year is upon us and, as always, that means new trends. Society changes and evolves with every year that passes and, of course, architecture is required to adjust accordingly. In 2017 we heard about the millennials—a generation of nonconformist, sceptical, college-educated young people, plugged into social media. This latest generational phenomenon coupled with the current socioeconomic framework will make 2018 the year to address this new tide of requirements and incorporate them into architecture.
- Sustainable design will be the trailblazer for this year. With concepts such as durability and safety still at the forefront, the challenge of making buildings that require less energy expenditure will represent the most powerful trend. We are talking about a type of architecture that seeks to optimise natural resources and construction systems in a way that minimises the environmental impact of new buildings.
- As we have already said, architecture must adapt to changes and a variety of social realities. That is why social design is set to be the latest architectural watchword, i.e., designs that focus on facilitating quality of life in the community. This year we will see (even more) the development of new formulas for living and working in small spaces that have been planned down to the millimetre. The rising freelance trend and the autonomous spirit of millennials will promote the use of single spaces for more than one activity. Small, multifunctional, minimalist apartments are the way forward.
- The multiple occupancy property trend is a solution that has developed as a result of the current situation many young people find themselves in; choosing to share housing in order to share costs but, despite that, also requiring their own private spaces.
- Smart homes are no longer the stuff of science fiction but a growing trend that gains ground every year. And homes in which we can control the heating from our mobile, or find out what we have in the fridge without even opening the door are becoming an increasingly common—and more affordable—option.
- Open-plan designs facilitate family coexistence and, as such, the inclusion of spacious common areas in new buildings is another trend we will see this year. The kitchen-diner will be replaced by a whole diaphanous floor divided into different areas designed for family members to enjoy activities together.