Future-proof homes

There is no doubt that spending more time in our homes has helped us, as citizens, to overcome a complex situation.

78% of people agree that the home was our sanctuary during the pandemic (Source: Ikea Home Report). There is no doubt that spending more time in our home has given us a wider view of its function in our life, as well as a greater appreciation of how it has helped us as citizens get through such a difficult time. Protection is a quality that will gain more importance over the years to come.

Drivers of change

Health and protection will continue to grow in demand, while the threat of more pandemics and climate crises leads to the clear need to create spaces that are both healthy and safe. The World Health Organization (WHO) has given us plenty of warning that the coronavirus crisis will not be the last and that “threats of this type will continue”, as claimed by Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. 

The climate crisis will also entail a significant change. New policies like the European Union’s Green New Deal, implemented as part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), incentivise policies that push industries and cities towards more sustainable models.

“We cannot continue designing cities and buildings as if nothing had happened.”
Vicente Guallart, architect.

The result

Homes will be viewed as places of refuge which protect you from future climate and health crises. As such, their self-sufficiency will be more important in terms of hygiene and food. Air purification systems, hygienic and decontaminant materials and small vegetable patches will continue gaining speed. 

This concept of home as a refuge will equal relaxing designs and warm products which help balance the mood and boost the mental well-being of their inhabitants, forming an integral part of their self-care rituals. The survival mentality will result in architecture and interior designs that physically protect us, in addition to greater storage space for stockpiling emergency items and healthcare kits. On the other hand, greenery in the home and being in direct contact with nature will take on greater importance. To help achieve this, windows and locks with increase in size while products such as awnings will become an essential fixture after seeing heavy use during the pandemic.

Design keys

Environmental quality

Issues such as air quality and the use of healthy materials which prevent or reduce contaminating emissions will become design focuses.


Macro proposals, such as cities that are energetically and environmentally sustainable, to micro solutions installed in homes which help improve energy and food independence will all become fundamental.

Greenery and contact with nature

More and more plants and small crop-growing systems will be found inside homes.


A home which serves as a place of refuge able to meet all human needs for a specific period of time.

Neuroscience applied to design

New technologies will enable more data to be collected in order to create interiors that improve people’s ability to find themselves in their home.

Case studies

This self-sufficient city in Beijing, created by Vicente Guallart of Guallart Architects, proposes separating human functions by layers (home, building, community).

Ring Always Home Cam by Amazon is a security drone for inside the home which patrols the building searching for threats.
LG is moving into the indoor gardening market with a domestic growing device which oversees the growth of fresh herbs and vegetables all year round.
Monad Terrace, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is a luxury property development in Miami Beach, Florida. The building has been constructed to withstand category five hurricanes.

Discover more

UNDERGROUND HOUSE PLAN B, an underground house designed by Sergey Makhno Architects’ Makhno Studio in Ukraine. Team: Serhii Makhno, Olha Sobchyshyna, Oleksandr Makhno, Ihor Havrylenko, Oleksandr Bokhan, Maryna Hrechko, Serhii Filonchuk. PR: Tatiana Vakula, Maria Fedko, Daria Sushko. PM: Maryna Vasylishyna.