Post-professional students earning a master’s in fine arts at the New York School of Interior Design designed future homes for the “Designing Tomorrow’s Home” exhibit as part of the school’s 100th anniversary celebration. “Although we’re incredibly proud of our history and the contributions we’ve made to the field, it was also important for the college to engage in a dialogue about the future of interior design,” Samantha Hoover, NYSID’s director of external communications, told EAL.
In Design Studio II classes led by Joseph Goldstein and Edwin Zawadski, 19 students were tasked with developing designs for homes in New York City planned for no more than 50 years in the future, focusing on a social lens of their choosing. Some designs utilized already existing structures, while others designed structures made to be moved. “Living Under the Bridge,” by Kevin Garcia, included residences under the Brooklyn Bridge, and “Tiny and Well,” by Ting Ting Zhang, which embraces the idea of nomadic living, created homes that can be docked in different locations.
“Many of the proposals presume a faith that advances in technology will eventually allow us to solve any problem, but as our generation’s failure to obtain the universal jet pack commute proves, this is not necessarily borne out in practice,” explain Goldstein and Zawadski. “More innovative in some sense is the exploration of various sites such as underground (including for urban living ‘amenities’), in or on water, or lost space under bridges, as well as for new nomadic living, borderless sites.”
Yu-Hsiang Fu took inspiration from the micro-living trend for his design, “Future Micro Living.” He says he wanted to create a flexible space, incorporating horizontal sliding tracks on the walls and stackable functions. One wall is the utility wall, where a table, beds and storage can be slid into or out of use. The second wall is the mood wall, where residents can express their personality through different colors, decorations and pictures. “In micro-living design, they are more focused on the function; everything needs to be really small, really functional, not really focused on the emotional,” says Fu on his reasoning behind designing the mood wall.
Goldstein and Zawadski say a significant focus of designing for the future was put on scarcity, whether it be affordable space or natural resources, but also maintaining comfort. Technology is playing an increasing role in aiding comfort in future design by incorporating more sustainable energy sources, virtual reality and sensor-driven, reconfigurable aspects of the room. They point out, “Comfort was addressed in the sense of attempting to preserve and refine it in a world where it is in some sense under threat: bringing natural light and plants, fostering security and community, redefining luxury, and introducing virtual reality into the interiors.”
The exhibit is free and open to the public now through December 3 at the NYSID Gallery (161 E. 69th St.).