Consumer and Home Design Trends

Industry Pulse: Wild Ideas Breed Innovation

Anja Seng photo

Anja Seng

March 15, 2023

This temperature-regulating material could make homes 5%–10% more efficient.

Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering developed a material that regulates temperature by conserving infrared heat when it’s cold outside and discharging a high amount of it when it’s hot. Theoretically, this film could connect to thermostats to trigger the correction and keep homes at the ideal temperature with less HVAC intervention. 

Mental health is top of mind, ranking equally as important as physical health.

The 2022 Ipsos World Mental Health Day survey emphasizes just how highly people all over the world are prioritizing their mental health. In fact, mental health outranks cancer when people are asked to think about their top health concerns. Take this into consideration when designing homes and communities, developing a marketing campaign, or simply connecting with others.

These bulletproof modular homes are receiving attention in the United States.

What feels like a James Bond hideout is a modular tiny home built by Argentina-based Hüga. Capitalizing on the tiny home trend during 2021, Hüga developed these concrete structures designed to withstand snow, earthquakes, hurricanes, and bullets (note the security screen!). The company is seeing demand from US buyers, especially in Florida, to live in or convert into Airbnbs. The 484-square-foot home is projected to cost about $135,000 with first deliveries expected by

KOHLER’s innovation startup designed tiles made entirely of recycled materials.

In February, KOHLER joined us at our annual New Home Trends Summit in Dallas, and spoke about their efforts to design for consumer shifts. Among their initiatives is a team called KOHLER WasteLAB, which was created to turn landfill-bound materials into beautiful products. One result is their Abstra Collection, made from wastewater sludge. The artistic collection was even awarded a 2022 Good Design Award.

Less than half of LG’s ‘smart’ appliances stay connected to the internet.

Despite smart appliances making up a large share of appliance sales, major manufacturers see a lower rate of appliances connected to Wi-Fi than you might expect. This means customers miss out on smart features like filter replacement alerts or syncing with recipe apps, and manufacturers are unable to collect data on how customers are using their products. Manufacturers, and perhaps builders and property managers, need to better illustrate the value of connectivity.

Complete this form to learn about becoming a New Home Trends Institute member. For current members, reach out to Anja Seng to learn more about trends we are seeing and how they are impacting the housing industry.

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About The Author

Anja Seng photo
Anja Seng
Senior Research Analyst, Design
Anja assists in the production of monthly DesignLens features and manages the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) Instagram account. Additional responsibilities include helping run New Home Trends Institute’s Master Plan Trends Council and designing external presentations.

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