China’s Future Home: Flexible, Playful & Connected to Nature
Ten of China and Japan’s top architecture firms explored how the home could and should respond to the pressures of future living with a series of conceptual pavilions for House Vision, an exhibition within Beijing Design Week (September 26 to October 5). The installations exposed three consumer needs – flexibility, fun and connection to environmental resources – that will be pivotal to future architectural practice. Here, we give you the highlights.
Chinese studio Open Architecture queried how humans might settle on another planet with its Mars Case pavilion. The pod design features a cube-shaped metallic base housing the kitchen and bathroom, as well as a soft-skinned extension that inflates to create a living space. The pavilion constantly recycles air, water and energy to enable inhabitants to exist without access to natural resources. The design is also aimed at the growing community of nomadic consumers seeking sustainable housing alternatives – see our A/W 19/20 Design Direction Essence for more.
Chinese studio Penda took inspiration from traditional hutongs – and their role as communal meeting places – in its Urban Cabin design for Mini Living. A playground-like interior creates a sense of being in a public space, featuring a swing and moveable puzzle-shaped seats. A periscope protruding through the roof connects inhabitants to the outdoors, enabling them to look around the house and syphoning sunlight into the space.
Beijing-based architecture studio Blue used modular wall and storage sections to imagine how design can be used to activate China’s abandoned buildings. Its pavilion was filled with five-metre-high box structures that create semi-enclosed private living spaces. Users can position sofas, chairs and tables inside and outside of these structures, using the divides to delineate social and intimate settings.
Each project appreciates space as a vital commodity and explores how new ways of managing it can create buildings that nurture their inhabitants, even when in a restrictive environment.