All Mod Con

Humans crave physical comfort just as much as the next species. Of course, no other species is so fully equipped to transform the environment. A quick walk around Columbus–or the MUW campus–confirms as much. Witness the stately antebellum homes with high ceilings, huge windows, and hardwood floors; think about the resources expended to make and maintain such buildings, from the first tree cut to the last servant, slave or free, used to keep up appearances. They’re marvels, these old buildings, and they’re remarkably inefficient.

Turn the corner and you’re likely to see a ranch-style building whose design depends largely on the availability of air conditioning. Without it, heat would get trapped inside those low ceilings and render the dwelling unusable.  With it, of course, you’ve got considerably advanced efficiency over the old mansions–and considerably less curb appeal.

So, here’s the question of the week: how will architecture, engineering, environmentalism, and esthetics come together to shape our future homes? What will be the most important features? Where will we put those houses–in town, or on the never-ending edge of sprawl?

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22 Responses to All Mod Con

  1. Shuchi Patel says:

    I believe that new homes will have much more technology to make life easier. People nowadays have much more work to do. I believe the most important features will greatly affect the kitchen. Currently, many people eat out. I believe new technology will make cooking easier. Smart phones now have apps that control lights and temperature, which is very beneficial for busy people.

  2. Kendall Wells says:

    As humans evolve, so will our houses. Old homes are artifacts of the past that society should strive to keep alive, but houses built 50 years from now will be truly fascinating. The “smart house” will eventually become a reality for everyday Americans. Houses engineered to be weather proof, insulate hot and cold weather, and maximize living conditions of the occupants will exist in the mere future. Human laziness is the foundation of efficiency.

  3. Erin Owens says:

    I believe that as cities grow larger and as rising crime rates and pollution become more of an issue many people will seek a rural lifestyle. The homes will be one story with an open floor plan to allow air to travel through easier therefore, lessening costs

  4. Samuel Patterson says:

    The homes of the future will be ultra efficient compared to the buildings that we live in today. Solar panels and other renewable energy producing devices will be commonplace and necessary to ensure a habitable world. Windows will become more tech savvy to control inside temperature and houses will be fitted with a paint that alternates to the most efficient color depending on the season. People will alternate every half-century between inner city and suburbs, as they have throughout history, and technology will eventually lead us to begin inhabiting out oceans via island building.

  5. Brent Styles says:

    Although it is near impossible to predict certain things in the future, I would like to think that future humans will create houses that serve a purpose. This would focus on designs influenced more by environmentalism and engineering. The quality of a home would then be judged by how well it utilizes space, insulates heat or cold, and reduces the need for maintenance. I believe that the location of these houses would very much depend on improvements of transportation.

  6. Jagger Riggle says:

    Architecture styles will change over time. In the future, houses will change to be more eco-friendly and energy efficient. They may change so that in the summer hot air is released and blocked out, while in the winter the hot air is trapped in. Houses may start having the entire roof covered in solar panels to produce energy so it is not as reliant on the main power grid. They will also start to be made out of more durable and cheaper material. The location will also change as the demand for more houses increases with the population. The only place for houses to go is out of the city into more rural areas (which will then not be so rural) or farther up if it inside a big city.

  7. Steven says:

    As much of society is fated to commercialize, the population and movement in the cities will boom and living spaces will thus deviate from aesthetics. Because of the dominance of business and new technology people will value a beautiful, expansive house less. Future architecture will have to maximize living space efficiency. Homes should be equipped with many utilities that keep one’s daily necessities (bathing and brushing) in check. Because of more efficient housing, environmentalism can be subconsciously promoted, and emissions and pollution should be expected to decrease.

  8. Leah Pettit says:

    Society evolves, and with it, architecture. Architecture reflects the whims of the people, which is why it can be so drastically different from one generation to another. Perhaps, at some point in time, people will no longer want wood flooring, because trees, especially exotic ones, will become endangered. They will see wood furniture in much the same light we see fur or ivory in today. However, further into the future, the trees that remain will become plentiful again, and wood will become an abundant resource, perchance sparking a “revival” of this style of home. It is interesting to note that in today’s society, restored homes from the early 1900s are still fairly popular because they speak of their history. This suggests that in the future, old homes that have been fitted with the latest amenities of life could remain strong contenders when choosing a house, even amongst more modern designs.
    I doubt that location of houses with regards to cities will change significantly over time. Cities form where population is highest, drawing others towards it as it establishes businesses and other characteristics that wouldn’t be practical in the country. With population greater in the city, land value would increase, and so the size and extravagance of the house is inversely correlated with the proximity to the city. Each individual must decide for himself what he values most, and choose his house accordingly. However, if everyone wants to live in the city, price of land just goes up until some cannot afford it and he and those like him will begin moving outward, never disrupting this city/country equilibrium for long.
    If the world grows to the point where there is no longer any room for what we think of as “country” it is unlikely that society will be able to produce enough food to feed its inhabitants, which would result in the deaths of billions of people in a relatively short period of time. This decrease in population would allow for many of the cities to be converted back into farms, and the equilibrium would restore itself.

  9. Lilah Denton says:

    I think tiny homes and house boats have been becoming more popular lately. Not only are they less expensive, but they’re different and exciting to most people. I personally would love to live in a house boat. The television shows about these new and different homes really interest me. I’m less intrigued by the real estate and the marketing for these homes than the way they make it all work. House boats are especially cool because you’re living on the water in a community with others. People live with their pets and children in a house boat, just like they would in a regular neighborhood. I would love to see homes turn to more eco-friendly or compact homes, like some tiny or boat houses.

  10. Aurelia Caine says:

    Houses really just evolve over time. As time goes on, all of these factors will also improve. I personally believe more and more people are going to continue to move into smaller houses. Not only is it to people’s liking, but it is also cheaper. We have to also remember that houses are effected by the things and people around them. So at the end of the day, it will always depends on the current generation.

  11. Vera L. Taire says:

    The tiny house movement is lit right now. It meshes perfectly with the hipster ideals of independent thinking, counter-culture magic, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. Along with thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, androgynous hair styles, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses, Hipsters like small spaces. Tiny houses are tres counter cultural. America does everything big-big mac, big cities, and big houses. The future of our country is in the hands of the young ones- the hipsters and their wannabes. We’re about to downsize.

  12. AK Mynatt says:

    There is a television show called Tiny House Nation that I think predicts what the future of our houses will be like. People are all about saving money and the environment these days. With a tiny house, they limit the cost of electricity and the amount of space taken up. The future is all about conservation.

  13. Stephanie Dauber says:

    We tend to think of our little communities as the world, as if there is nothing else but us. In the North we Yanks tend to build two story homes that help the home stay warmer in the winter. The heat travels upstairs (usually where the bedrooms are) and circulates there. And then during the summer months you can hermit in the basement where the real fun is at, or be downstairs where the air will be cooler. I have seen houses where there are “smart thermostats” that detect the air temperature more efficiently and are just somehow magical I suppose. These technological innovations are already starting to permeate into our homes and it’s just a matter of time before the beautiful antebellum house’s mechanical arms are grabbing the toast out of the toaster and spreading melted butter before sliding it to us, with our ear’s filled with the sounds of Seashell radio.

  14. Devon M says:

    As time progresses, things change, and no single person can tell what will happen in the future. Like in Back to the Future, the writers thought there would be hoverboards. Although technology gave some sort of a hoverboard, it still didn’t amount to people’s thoughts back then. Architecture is the same way, it changes every second and we cannot tell what will be in style 10, 15, and 20 years down the line. However, we will still have our beautiful historic homes in the historic districts of towns that will never go out of style. But as time has progressed, designs in the household have changed as well. More than likely, in the future, everything will be centralized around technology… heck companies are even making smart fridges now…
    I imagine the world is going to end up kind of like the movie Wall-E. Everything will be based on electronics and people will forget to remember about the little things that are some of the most important parts of our lives (even though I am a supporter of phones ad tablets).

  15. Kayla Patel says:

    Many people now are moving into tiny houses that save them money and are easy to maintain. I do think that it is all about who you are as a person and what your style is. Some people want big houses with big kitchens just because they can because they have money to do so. Others will settle for a little cozy home. All this comes with the technology available for homes such as alarm systems, different lighting effects, sound systems, garage doors, and the ability to do all of this from our phones. Housing areas depend on factor like gas prices, schools, work, social areas, and grocery stores. Housing is just another thing that evolves over time.

  16. Brianna Ladnier says:

    Old will always be glanced at as beautiful and unique. However, we will always run to new technology with open arms to embrace comfort over cordiality. We can appreciate the past, but look forward to a future. As our lives progress throughout the decades, we witness our lives becoming more and more automated. Shattering the need for human labor in a lot of fields. We have machines that wash our clothes, make our food, cool us off, clean our houses, create marvelous structures, and eventually can perform surgery on our own bodies. In due time, we will be surrounded by the obliteration of the necessity of humans entirely. We will soon become the humans in Wall-E. Killing our planet to death out of our own laziness and convenience. So, in the future, our necessity of automation will infect to our houses. We will have houses that do the dishes, make meals, do the laundry, make our beds, vacuum the floors, and even flush the toilet when we are done!

  17. Kamal Bhalla says:

    Architecture and engineering are both growing fields with fresh batches of people learning about them and using their skills with them upon society around them. Since the way society thinks is changing constantly, this has an effect on the way we think about houses as well. The beauty of houses varies upon each and every person. Some people may think a house on a mountain may be better than a condo in a luxury apartment. This all depends on society. There is no set and stone way a house should look like, but just how it should “feel” like. People just want a true place where they can come “home” to.

  18. Sierra Howell says:

    It is evident that our world evolves through time. I believe in the future we will only advance. Our homes will become more safe, as they already have. The houses will begin to be more water resistant, flood resistant, and more stable. Homes will eventually be built more for our comfortable to them also. The people today are focused on making simply tasked even easier. I think we will eventually have someone that washed and folds laundry for us, does our dishes, and more. our day in age is more advanced that it ever has been and it will only get better.

  19. Maggie Atkinson says:

    While we will always cherish the homes built before us, we are ever changing. Like many other things, we are constantly changing. There will always be a better way to live. Let it be a bigger house or a better foundation. I have personally noticed that cities are expanding. The homes of the past are staying and the new ideas are taking on new territory.

  20. Lydia Holley says:

    I think that homes in the future will be a mix of antebellum and town houses. People today love antebellum homes, but they love the technological improvement of today’s town houses. I think that the houses in the future will have higher technology all while resembling antebellum homes on the outside, with many chic vintage materials inside. People are beginning to want to live in towns instead of the edges of the Earth, and therefore the future houses will be in towns.

  21. John says:

    I believe that more and more ranch style homes are being made more and more today than back then. The homes being built now may be built with less parlors or huge ceilings but it’s for the best. It will be more efficient. They are built like this to keep the home heated during the winter and cool during the summer. It’ll be much easier to take care of also. People want an antebellum home but the efficiency of a ranch style so maybe in the future they will start mixing the two together to form a magnificent piece? As technology advances, I’m sure security alarms will be included, sound systems will be every where. Virtually, I believe they will turn into a smart house because we as humans are just lazy.

  22. Sabrina Solomon says:

    I think that antebellum homes are gorgeous and glad they are still around; however, it is true that it takes a lot to keep them in good shape. Today’s houses can be pretty drab, but today’s technology and efficiency helps the house stay cool during the summer and warm in the winter. In the future, I suppose that the houses will be more technologically improve (i.e. sound systems, alarm systems, or lighting systems) and the layout of the houses will be a mixture between antebellum homes and today’s ranch/neighborhood style homes.

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