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Home Automation: The Latest Architecture and News

The Future of Multifamily Housing and the Associated Security Challenges

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Multifamily housing in urban environments provides social, economic, and environmental benefits to both individual residents and cities as a whole. Kicked into overdrive after the 2008 financial crisis, demand for multifamily housing has since continued to rise and remains strong today. Generations Y and Z are the youngest urbanized group of adults and these young professionals are fueling much of the demand for compact living in city centers. Though the younger generations are the ones driving the changes, the result is expected to be more secure, convenient living for everyone.

Systems to Design a Smart and Contactless Home

© Luis GallardoCourtesy of RES4© Paul Finkel© Charles Hosa+ 15

Smart homes, the Internet of Things, and contactless technology have become an indelible part of the architecture and interior design industries, with automated lighting, smart HVAC units, and speakers like Alexa or Google Home becoming a principal part of the modern upper middle class home. As new devices and competing systems are continually released, we list some of the most popular home technologies developed by Lutron, alongside tips for how to integrate and choose among them.

Adaptive Environments: Shaping Space Through Light & Color

With the aim of creating immersive environmental experiences in interior spaces, the design studio Aqua Creations has developed Manta Ray Light, a lighting installation built with responsive RGB LED technology that mixes the colors red, green, and blue to generate more than 16 million light tones. By presetting its color spectrum, offering a range of brightness settings on a scale of 0.1 to 100%, and even loading images and videos into its internal memory, the system allows its user to add color and movement to expressive spaces, or deliver a feeling of warmth and concentration to intimate and private rooms.

Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)Manta Ray Light from Aqua Creations. Image © Ross Belfer (Xhibition)+ 6

What to Expect from Interiors of the Future

In 2018, the UN released an article stating that 55% of the world’s population already lived in urban areas, predicting that by 2050 this percentage would reach 68%. This trend toward greater urbanization carries with it several implications regarding environmental degradation and social inequality. According to National Geographic, urban growth increases air pollution, endangers animal populations, promotes the loss of urban tree cover, and heightens the likelihood of environmental catastrophes such as flash flooding. These health hazards and catastrophic phenomena may be more likely to impact poorer populations, as larger cities tend to demonstrate higher rates of economic inequality and uncontrolled growth tends to produce unequal distributions of space, services, and opportunities.

To mitigate these negative effects of urbanization, designers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability and the maximization of available space – allowing more people to occupy less space with a smaller footprint.

Courtesy of SeuraBatipin Flat / studioWOK. Image © Federico VillaCasa da Escrita / João Mendes Ribeiro. Image © do mal o menosStudio 45 / Marston Architects. Image © Katherine Lu+ 13

BuildTech Futures: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and generative design have begun to shape architecture as we know it. As systems and tools to reimagine the built environment, they present diverse opportunities to rethink traditional workflows. Designers also fear they may inversely affect practice, limiting the services of the architect. Looking to building technologies, new companies are creating software and projects to explore the future of design.

House Boat / Simone Micheli

© Jürgen Eheim© Jürgen Eheim© Jürgen Eheim© Jürgen Eheim+ 48

Puntaldia, Italy
  • Architects: Simone Micheli
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  65
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Forster, Grassi Pietre, Hafele, Irsap, +36

Higharc Startup Aims to Automate Home Design

Stealth-stage startup Higharc has begun rethinking how new homes are designed and built without hiring an architect. Founded to reinvent new home design for the digital age, the company aims to make custom-fit homes accessible to anyone by automating home design and customization online. Taking on pre-made plans, the team wants to bring design back to housing options and make customization more accessible.

Courtesy of HigharcCourtesy of HigharcCourtesy of HigharcCourtesy of Higharc+ 5

Home Automation In Renovations: Is It Possible to Transform an Old Building into an Intelligent One?

Although the ability to install home automation in a practical way is associated with new projects, it is possible to adapt previously built buildings in a relatively simple way. In both small and large renovations projects these systems can deliver automated features that responds to the requirements and needs of its users. They can also improve the habitability and comfort of its spaces, increase their security and promote long-term energy and money savings. So, what considerations must be taken into account in order to transform an regular architecture project into an "intelligent" one?

© Eric Laignel© Zooey Brown© Adrià GoulaAquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA / Simone Micheli, remodeled by AVE. Image © Juergen Eheim+ 14

Smart Homes That Use Domotics To Improve Quality of Life

© Paul Finkel
© Paul Finkel

Home automation, or Domotics, is a set of technologies applied to a residence to control lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances. Its systems allow for efficient management of energy consumption, security, accessibility, and the general comfort of the building, becoming an important issue to consider when designing, building, and living.

Domotic systems are based on the collection of data by sensors, which are then processed to issue precise orders to the executors, varying the environmental quality of each enclosure according to the needs of the user. The pace of current life and the technological advances we have experienced in recent years have led to new ways of living, motivating the design of homes and more human, multifunctional and flexible buildings. What was once a luxury is now a feasible and effective solution for all types of projects.

In this article, we've compiled a collection of smart homes where domotics have been used.

© Kingkien© Beer Singnoi© Kingkien© Günther Richard Wett+ 25

Will Automation Affect Architects?

According to The Economist, 47% of the work done by humans will have been replaced by robots by 2037, even those traditionally associated with university education. While the World Economic Forum estimates that between 2015 and 2020, 7.1 million jobs will be lost around the world, as "artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and other socio-economic factors replace the need for human employees."

It's not science fiction: the MIT Technology Review warns that the current debate over raising the minimum wage for fast food employees in the United States would accelerate their own automation. On the other hand, Silicon Valley personalities and millionaires like Elon Musk and Richard Branson warned that the impact of automation will force the creation of a universal basic income to compensate not only the massive unemployment that would generate these new technologies but also the hyper-concentration of the global wealth.

One advocate of this idea is the British economist Guy Standing who wrote at the Davos Forum that it "would be a sensible precaution against the possibility of mass displacement by robotization and artificial intelligence," but will automation affect architects? Will we really be replaced by robots?