5 Cutting-Edge Design Trends for 2015

January 30, 2015

Innovative marketing techniques, an emphasis on renewable features, and using big data to meet clients’ needs are just a few of the architectural trends that are set to influence real estate in 2015, according to a recent blog post from MIPIM, an organization that hosts a conference that attracts upwards of 20,000 international property professionals. Here are the design trends they think you need to keep an eye on in 2015.

3D Printing: In 2014, the construction firm WinSun Decoration Design Engineering created 10 one-room houses in just 24 hours using 3D printing. This year they topped themselves by constructing a five-story apartment building using recycled materials and a 150-meter printer. The low cost of 3D printing and the emphasis on using sustainable resources has makes it an appealing option for creating affordable housing. For example, a company in Italy recently used 3D printing to build low-cost structures made with mud. Construction firm Skanska took it up a notch and collaborated with architectural firm Foster + Partners to create a 3D concreate printing robot.

Sustainable and Efficient Design: This year will bring continued interest in energy-efficient and passive design. The passive design movement sets a high standard for ultra-low energy buildings, with a focus on airtight insulation, solar power, and water-saving techniques.

Glass:  According to MIPIM, “Glass from floor to ceiling on the outside of buildings and in between offices has never been more popular. The material transmits natural light, natural heat, is aesthetically pleasing, and creates comfortable living and working conditions.” A recent design report from Gensler echoes the importance of using solar energy by championing the use of glass on the inside and outside of buildings. According to them, glass brings a feeling of community to the workforce, makes offices feel less stodgy, and is not only cost-efficient but also good for the environment.

Treat Yourself:  In residential design, clients are requesting features that focus on relaxation and stress-free living. Spa-like bathtubs, luxurious bathrooms, outdoor kitchens and patios, hot-tubs, and fire-pits are all in-demand right now.  The rise in “boomerang kids” living at home with their parents post-college and elderly family members moving back in with their kids suggests that residential design in the future will have to be flexible.

Big Data: Big data is impacting just about everything these days, and architectural design is no exception. Data can help architecture firms better understand the needs of their clients and can help them build more efficient properties by treating buildings more like living organisms that can be monitored and changed with the evolution of the needs of the clients.

Sources: "5 Innovative Architectural Trends to Watch for in 2015," MIPIM Wordblog (Jan. 26, 2015), "China Has Built a Giant Apartment With a 3D Printer," Curbed (Jan. 29, 2015), "