"Scenes From The Near Future": An Exhibition That Explores the Future of Houses

One hundred years ago, design and architecture professionals of the Bauhaus and the modern movement broke with the traditional concept of housing, proposing new ways of building, distributing its spaces and furnishing it. Although many of their aesthetic and constructive approaches have had a great impact and development in the field of design since then, society, however, has gone at a different speed when it comes to adopting certain models of domestic space to which these movements opened the door. Since then, housing has been in constant revision, reformulation and even experimentation, having had a profound interest in design for most of the most important design and architecture professionals of the twentieth century, and so far in the twenty-first.

"Scenes From The Near Future": An Exhibition That Explores the Future of Houses - Image 3 of 37
Courtesy of WDC Valencia 2022

In contrast to traditional schemes, these new models of domestic space were aimed at achieving greater flexibility in their format and use. The change of mentality necessary to understand and prepare the home as an environment capable of enabling such flexibility has been much slower, since for most of society it has been a progressive necessity as social structures and lifestyles have evolved. Although in the last two decades, the adjustment of mentality with respect to the home as a possible changing, fluid and more versatile space was already palpable, the Covid-19 pandemic and its lockdowns brought to the table the evidence of this lack or need in many homes.

The exhibition "Scenes from the near future" (Open from November 23 to March 19, 2023) began to take shape after the initial emergency and the more restrictive lockdowns of the pandemic. This favored a thoughtful approach, with consolidated perspective and conclusions about how the pandemic had impacted the home environment and society. At the top of the needs ranking is: greater flexibility. 

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© Mariela Apollonio

"Scenes from the near future" was therefore conceived as a prospective exercise on this issue, but not from a disruptive and utopian perspective, but rather from the synchronization with a society that is finally open to this new scenario in the domestic environment.

The exhibition brings together a series of pieces of furniture and lighting, as well as domestic scenes that zoom in on specific parts of the home, conceived by a group of design and architecture professionals, equipment, materials and construction firms, selected by the curator to work as a team on different types of projects around five concepts: flexibility, multifunctionality, modularity, nomadism and sustainability. Five notions that are not new, but that now must be rethought for a different scenario, capable of responding to new lifestyle trends, taking into account contemporary social, technological and sustainable realities.

"Scenes From The Near Future": An Exhibition That Explores the Future of Houses - Image 37 of 37
© Mariela Apollonio

Thus, apart from flexibility, participants could additionally work their proposals around these four other concepts, without the need to be simultaneous. On the one hand, multifunctionality and modularity, two issues not exempt from enclosing flexibility in themselves. As a premise, both approaches had to go a step further with respect to how these same features have been solved so far: multifunctionality had to be more balanced, so that there were no main and secondary functions (or functions deficient in their role), and modularity had to provide a practical, efficient and active reconfiguration, avoiding static compositions and anchoring systems that deteriorate over time, undermining the ability to rethink.

On the other hand, proposals could also revolve around nomadism, which involves flexibility in terms of lifestyle and is also susceptible to ad hoc equipment. Although nomadism suffered a hiatus during the pandemic, the tendency of society to change its place of residence frequently is increasingly common and has recovered as soon as restrictions have been relaxed. Lastly, all the proposals had to be based on sustainability, understood not only from an environmentally friendly perspective in terms of resources, materials, carbon footprint, recycling, and circular economy, but also through the approach of formulas that provide multipurpose or long-term solutions for the different stages of life, which is also another way of being sustainable.

In the words of Xavi Calvo, director of Valencia World Design Capital 2022, "In their role as anticipators of a better reality, design professionals have the power and commitment to create environments capable of contributing to the well-being of the people who inhabit domestic spaces: more sustainable with their environment, capable of adapting to new family structures that evolve over time and adopting technological advances that bring comfort to the home. “Scenes from the near future" closes an exceptional year for the collaboration between the Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània and Valencia World Design Capital 2022. An already inseparable bond between all that design can do for society as a whole, and the cultural agitation that the CCCC brings to the city".

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© Mariela Apollonio

Among the design and architecture professionals who have participated are Arqueha, Cambres Design, Silvia Ceñal, Cierto Estudio, Clap Studio, Julia Esqué, Rocío Gambin, Alejandra Gandía-Blasco, Eli Gutiérrez, Marc Morro, Nahtrang, Oiko Design, Isaac Piñeiro, Jaume Ramírez and Raw Color.

The companies that have collaborated by promoting the project are: Actiu, A-Emotional Light, Arqueha, Asociación de Mobiliario de Cocina AMC, Estiluz, Expormim, Finsa, Gandia Blasco, Missana, Mobles 114, Momocca, Ondarreta, Sancal and Teulat.

Andreu World, AT4, Bitex, EcoCero, Emedec, Foster Spa, Gabriel, Gerflor, Greenarea, KriskaDecor, Logopost, Lzf lamps, Muji, Saxun, Simon, Somfy, Tarkett and Veo Veo participated as collaborating firms.

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Cite: ArchDaily Team. ""Scenes From The Near Future": An Exhibition That Explores the Future of Houses" 26 Nov 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/992741/scenes-from-the-near-future-an-exhibition-that-explores-the-future-of-houses> ISSN 0719-8884

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