Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Janita Singh

OUR homes could change dra­mat­i­cally in as lit­tle as five to 10 years.

Swedish fur­ni­ture gi­ant Ikea, cel­e­brat­ing its 40th birth­day in Aus­tralia, en­gaged “fu­tur­ist” Bar­rie Bar­ton to ex­am­ine how Aus­tralians would be liv­ing by 2025.

He pre­dicts that homes will fo­cus more on happy, healthy liv­ing and flex­i­ble spa­ces with mov­able walls for mul­ti­func­tional liv­ing space.

Homes will be smarter, with phys­i­cal net­works of in­ter­con­nected ob­jects and ap­pli­ances.

And de­signs will en­cour­age to­geth­er­ness, such as mul­ti­func­tional fur­ni­ture that adapts for work­ing, so­cial­is­ing and spend­ing more time with the fam­ily.

Bar­ton says the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, soar­ing prop­erty prices, high de­mand for in­ner-city liv­ing and de­clin­ing house­hold num­bers will add up to smaller but smarter homes. “Aus­tralia is one of the most ur­banised coun­tries in the world. The dom­i­nant trend for the fu­ture would have to be the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion, mean­ing more peo­ple liv­ing in apart­ments,” he says.

In five years there will be about 2.1 mil­lion more Aus­tralians, with our pop­u­la­tion at about 26 mil­lion.

“Ob­vi­ously, dif­fer­ent age groups have very dif­fer­ent needs but one com­mon theme is that they all want sim­plic­ity,” Bar­ton says.

Ikea fu­ture homes pro­ject man­ager Eva-Carin Banka John­son says that by 2025 tech­nol­ogy will be used to cre­ate a har­mo­nious en­vi­ron­ment, with things like wall pro­jec­tions help­ing to cre­ate a space for med­i­ta­tion and mind­ful­ness.

“Ev­ery square inch will be used to ac­com­mo­date our lifestyle, which is why you can ex­pect to see things like elec­tric bikes dou­bling up as wall art,’’ she says.


Fu­ture kitchens will be­come home farms sim­i­lar to this setup at Ikea in Tempe, with herbs and veg­eta­bles close to hand.

Ikea pre­dicts fu­ture home de­sign will in­clude mov­able walls and fur­ni­ture’ (left) and smart waste man­age­ment sys­tems (right).


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