There has never been a richer range of expectations for living spaces. The needs of comfort and security are only one set of criteria. Add in the demands of ever-evolving technology and changing patterns of social interaction and you have today’s complex picture. Preparing for tomorrow is even more of a challenge.
Singular Lifestyles. Single Spaces.
Flexible design of a single structure is a microcosm of a growing global challenge: reconciling the needs of diversity within fixed spatial limitations. It’s a challenge that the Schmidt Associates’ Lifestyle Team finds endlessly fascinating. Our initial approach is to develop a detailed understanding of how users of a space live their lives today. Next, we look at the trends that are emerging to impact the lives of tomorrow: ever-greater technology connectivity; growth in live-work lifestyles; the eventual and likely total blurring of boundaries between private and public space. Then we marry the conceptual to the practical.
In the confines of a purely private space – an apartment or a student residence – this can result in future proofing through technology infrastructure, so that today’s bedroom can become tomorrow’s software design studio or client meeting area, and without major expense and disruption. In more public areas, we consider how spaces that once were characterized by excessive downtime can be opened up to the more informal needs of a community. So a highly specialized and highly specified auditorium that used to host perhaps a handful of concerts every year now becomes a regular gathering place for all kinds of community-based events.
“Flexibility” Is No Longer An Abstract Ideal. It Becomes A Living Characteristic.
Schmidt Associates’ approach leaves behind the notion that today’s design can dictate tomorrow’s lifestyle. Instead we encourage form to follow function, creating fluid conceptual designs that can flex physically and adapt cost-effectively in the face of any changes the future throws at them. Others call it “flexible design”. We prefer the term “living spaces”. To discover more about the ways our team can help you create and deliver “living spaces”, talk to us.