Pia Sievinen -

Home is where the heart is – Also in the future



Home. What all does it entail? What do we want from it?

Ilse Crawford, designer of homes and home-like spaces, says in her book A Frame for Life that our expectations for spaces are changing now that private and public spheres of life increasingly overlap. We work at home, and our private lives become public, for example, in  social media.

Crawford writes that, for a long time, the ideas of feeling at home and of creating an intimate space were left to the individual. Architecture and design did not pay much attention to these experiences. Now, this sensibility for cosy spaces is moving into the public domain. Today, we can and should feel at home anywhere: in an airport lounge, at a hotel, on a bus, at work or in a bar.

Crawford, who founded the Studioilse design agency in 2003, works according to the philosophy of creating environments that feel good: public spaces in which people feel at home, and homes that are habitable and make sense to the people living in them and to their lifestyles.

“The future is about designing spaces and buildings from the inside out,” Crawford notes.

Home moves into the public space

Feeling comes first.

Located in Stockholm, the Ett Hem hotel is an example of using the Studioilse touch to bring a feeling of home to a common space. The building is a former private home featuring common areas such as a breakfast room that straddle the middle ground between a home and a hotel. Guests are encouraged to make themselves at home and to enjoy their breakfast in the kitchen or the library, as they please.

The concept of home lives with us. We recreate home-like spaces in different domains of our lives: at the workplace, at our favourite cafe, in meeting places for our communities of interest, in hotels and in virtual spaces that inspire us. There are spaces and states of mind to which we want to return again and again, and there are others that do not tempt us with equal strength.

We want our home or homes to be places where we know we are safe.

Home is the foundation of life

Tomorrow’s home. How are changes, for example, in the way we work and engage in communities reflected in the home and in our idea of the home? Do we own our homes? Do we all live together?

The theme of Habitare 2017, Tomorrow’s home, co-conceived by Demos Helsinki and by the participants in Flow Festival’s Flow Talks, will be present throughout the fair, including .

“The home is not just a shelter, but it is the foundation of our lives,” says Roope Mokka from Demos Helsinki, summarising the idea of Tomorrow’s home.

The home adapts to life, and changes in it can be concretely seen in the technology and the smart applications that increase the ways in which the home can be controlled.

According to James Scott, the COO of the London-based co-living start-up The Collective, the changing needs of Generation Y may lead to a future in which we will all be “homeless”. Young adults settle down and marry later than in the past, and their relationship with ownership is different from that of previous generations. Scott believes that the socially more liberated millennials are more likely to choose housing as a service.

“When we dissociate the function of housing from physical location, we need to support the creation of communities. Eventually, we will move to a model of ‘subscription’ homes or providing housing as a service,” said Scott in Dezeen magazine in July 2016.

Established in 2010, The Collective has co-living spaces in various locations around London, and the company opened the world’s largest co-living space in West London in the summer of 2016.

Mobile Home 2017 moves from Berlin to Paris

The importance of the home, housing and homelessness will also be discussed at Habitare’s Mobile Home 2017 seminars, produced by the Finnish Cultural Institutes in Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris.

Mobile Home 2017, a joint project by the institutes, researches and explores the meaning of home from the points of view of experientiality, architecture, art and society. The project will be visible in Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, London and Paris, and will cooperate with, for example, designers and artists.

The home and our idea of the home change when the world and we ourselves change. However, feeling comes first. We want to feel well and be comfortable.

Habitare, the largest furniture, interior decoration and design fair in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 13 to 17 September 2017, on the theme of Tomorrow’s home. The exhibition design, by the KOKO3 design agency, is entitled ILO (‘Joy’).


Photo: Muji