Homes will become our universe

Some time ago, Orange has launched in Romania, right at EFdeN house, Orange Home for housing through the “You can travel anywhere without leaving home” campaign, which made me wonder a little about how we live in the future. These predictions by Ray Kurzweil (Google’s futurologist) give us a picture of a possible scenario.

I think the time we spend at home in 2030 will be around 80%

This future that we will spend almost all the time in our homes is not one that I like, but I think it is an inevitable future. Today we spend 50% of our time in houses and the rest of the time we spend on:

  • work – will be moved home via VR (Virtual Reality)
  • transport – will be drastically reduced due to the efficiency and decrease of the need of mobility, but will remain for meetings with friends, family or new experiences
  • shopping – will move online, see Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods
  • education – all online, MOOC are the future of education and robots who will do home-schooling are already a reality
  • entertainment –  meaning parks, clubs, pools, restaurants, things you can’t do at home
  • tourism –  we will travel more due to cheaper transportation, that’s the good part

Just as social media has taken over our universe, attention and time, is already considered a dependency, VR (Virtual Reality) will be an even more dangerous trend, to which we will become even more addicted to. We will be able to be the masters of the worlds we can create, and we will not want to get out of this ideal and easy world that we can control.

How will this trend influence how we design, build and live

What we can do in terms of the built environment is to design and build suitable housing for such user behavior, which, in one way or another, will bring communities closer. This means that besides a co-working space, a home should become a friendships space.

At least 2 families, adults + children, must be able to spend time together and this will be translated into larger livingroom+ diningroom + entertainment areas, and the bedrooms surfaces will be reduced to an usable and comfortable minimum.

Larger spaces mean higher costs, and inside cities, this would be very expensive. In big cities, the cost of living is already exorbitant. The consequence of the fact that we no longer have to get out of the house to work is that we no longer need to live inside the city, and that opens up a potential new urbanization stage of the planet. At this moment, half of the planet’s population lives in cities, taking up only 2% of the planet’s dry surface.

Today there are 7.4 billion people on the planet, and by 2030 there will be another 1.2 billion, which means almost double the size of Europe’s population today.

Due to climate change and global warming, a walk to the park will become a walk to the mall, where climatic conditions are optimal. At the mall you have access to almost anything you want, it is a place for all ages and needs, and this behavior can already be noticed. Even if it is sad to imagine a world that is shared between home and mall, it is currently the most likely future.

Visit 15 green homes @ Solar Decathlon Middle East in Dubai

The international competition for solar houses called Solar Decathlon, Middle East edition is the reason why 15 teams from 11 countries came here with 15 solar homes are now open to visits in Solar Innovation Center in Dubai.

Until 29th you can visit us in Solar Innovation Center (60km from Burj Kalifa into the desert) between 9.00 – 12.00 from Sunday to Wednesday and 9.00 – 18.00 from Thursday to Saturday. Plan your visit here.

During the 10 days period, all the participating houses are monitored and tested on 10 different contests, 6 with international jurors and 4 with sensors installed in every house. In the same period the houses are open for visits, offering guided tours to everyone interested.

Solar Decathlon was created by the US Department of Energy in 2001 and it now takes place on more than 5 continents becoming a worldwide phenomenon. In the last 8 years I have participated in 2012 edition in Madrid, 2014 edition in Versailles, and now in Dubai.

This is also the reason why EFdeN home and I are here.

In the last two years, we had to design and build an amazing 100% electric home, solar powered and sustainable. We built it in Romania this summer, and then we had to disassemble and transport it to Dubai where we reassembled in just 14 days.


Here you can see how monitoring looks like for all the houses on our shared platform. We are 3 days away from the end of the competition and everything is looking great for us.

EFdeN @ Solar Decathlon Middle East so far:

  • 1st place: Communication Contest
  • 2nd place: Engineering and Construction Contest
  • 3rd place: Sustainability Contest

Btw, if you like our project, you can vote for us here for the People’s Choice Award, this is extra competition. This is how EFdeN came to life.