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Disruptive Materials and Finishes for Future Home Interiors
How are contemporary homes pushing the boundaries of innovation for the future? Currently, these spaces tend towards clean lines, neutral colors and flexible spaces, with the integration of technological features and automation. But even though there are certain timeless features that define neutral contemporary interiors, we can begin to identify future trends by analyzing architectural projects that differ from the traditional, recognizing disruptive interior materials and finishes guided by technological advances that are shaping complex and changing homes of the future. The selection of these innovative materials conveys a meticulous decision process in building the structure and identity of a space. Depending on the context and typology of a space, there is a growing awareness of how materials impact an environment, and how new technologies are creating smart solutions that can mitigate their effects indoors.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a key role in visualizing the interiors of the homes of the future, and together with the exploration of biophilic, intelligent and 3D-printed materials, is stimulating new ways of approaching how we will live indoors moving forward.
Artificial intelligence as a tool for pre-visualizing homes
By analyzing a seemingly unlimited amount of data –including demographic and environmental factors, lifestyle trends and technological advancements– combined with machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence can identify patterns for predicting the future of homes. Along with the generation of software that use neural networks to convert text inputs into AI-generated images, interior design has found a new way to visualize ideas and concepts. By pre-visualizing the future, AI is taking interior design to a new level, playing with the integration of disruptive materials that propose a new way of imagining the future.
In collaboration with new technological advances, AI also introduces the use of traditional materials combined with modern strategies for adjusting to contemporary lifestyles. Blending wood, stone, metal, glass and a wide variety of textiles with new strategies adds warmth, light and life while enhancing interiors that play with the new forms of living.
New materialities for tomorrow’s interiors
Biophilic materials: Organic shapes enlivening traditional geometries
From the concept of biophilia, which refers to the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings, biophilic interior design embraces the connection to the natural environment. Considering today’s awareness of promoting well-being, interior design is looking for the interaction of elements that enhance the relationship between nature, humans and the built environment. Besides looking for natural light and ventilation, natural materials such as wood, clay or stone are part of the strategy for designing future layouts that aim to create a healthier and more sustainable environment.
Even though these materials are building the future, the strategy goes back to the use of basic elements. Envisioning greener and more vivid interiors, mycelium-based materials and living walls stand out as material strategies for biophilic design. Being recyclable and renewable, mycelium is used in building materials such as bricks, as well as textiles and furniture to add natural and organic finishes to interior design. Covering walls with plants, living walls not only immerse the user into a natural environment, but also improve air quality and reduce noise levels.
Smart materials: Reacting and mutating with the environment
As a response to changes in temperature, humidity or light in a space, smart materials are part of the automation strategies envisioned for future homes. Together with making their inhabitants’ lives easier, these materials can create dynamic and interactive spaces. Changing transparencies, colors or shapes, they can create totally unique interiors that are constantly in motion.
Preparing for the future and the changes it entails, home design has integrated technological advances for creating these smart strategies. For example, there is the evolution of responsive facades, which transform in response to its surroundings to maximize performance. Besides minimizing energy consumption, this dynamic strategy plays with various aesthetic options by changing its configuration. In diverse materials such as aluminum or stainless steel, these facades have different control technologies, such as mechanical-based, electromechanical-based, information-based, or material-based.
Smart strategies are also being used in textiles that change their color, shape, or texture in response to an action. Also known as e-textiles, these materials use sensors and microcontrollers that enable them to interact with the environment. Adding more functionality to interior design, they are able to capture data, temperature variations or adjust lighting. They are usually made from conductive fibers which are woven throughout the base material, combining aesthetics with technology. Responding to light changes to regulate the amount of light entering a building, photochromic materials such as smart glass are able to adjust their color and transparency. Either automatically or with the flick of a switch, this type of glass allows for privacy within interior spaces, and light control for exterior windows.
3D-printed materials: Customized spaces created for each inhabitant’s lifestyle
Providing new design possibilities, the integration of 3D-printed materials is key to overcoming conventional restraints when building structures. This tool is able to create unique forms that help to build the personality of a space when visualizing future homes. Besides creating furniture that explores complex geometries, 3D-printed materials also provide disruptive textures for walls to enhance the aesthetic appeal of interiors.
The use of custom-made elements for creating a personalized living environment plays with different materials. Through a layer by layer creation process, this technique uses single materials such as lightweight foaming bioplastic (PLA) or natural alternatives like clay or salt. It can also seamlessly integrate different types of textures and colors, such as glass-fiber rods and carbon textile to increase performance and aesthetic appeal. Conceiving a future where interiors follow their inhabitants’ way of life, 3D-printed materials are ideal for designing delicate organic and ergonomic lines, created unique to each project.
This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: The Contemporary Home, proudly presented by BUILDNER.
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