PopSci's Tomorrow's Home

PopSci's Tomorrow's Home

Gregory Han
Oct 18, 2006

It's not often I recommend cracking open an issue of Popular Science for home decor, but this month's issue is notable on the home front for several of the articles particularly focusing on the convergence of technology, architecture, home appliances and even furniture to create invisible networks of living.

Inside the November issue, PopSci discusses how once disparate elements of home life are being interconnected via innovative advances in technology: thinner and thinner wall mounted televisions are eliminating decor blight, LED lighting is on the verge of providing efficient and pure white home lighting, windows are being coated with titanium oxide nanoparticles to break down dirt for ease of cleaning, and there is even development of paints that change colour with the use of electricity, sound or light!

An accompanying piece about American architect Kent Larson's vision of transforming the home construction industry to mirror that of the computer manufacturing industry via a system which he has dubbed "open source" construction (thus reducing the average 40,000 pieces used to construct a home on site to just 40) is a recommended read for those interested in prefab homes.

And most wondrous (and unlikely) of propositions is the article about housing structures actually grown, using latticed vines and roots on the outside, plastered clay walls inside, and soy-based plastic windows capable of stretching as the house expands in growth. Arboritecture?

If this all seems too far-fetched, check out Sunset and Popular Science magazines House of the Future, showcasing the latest trends in home design and technology right now in Silicon Valley. Admittedly the home is primarily a stage for prototype technology, but with sponsorship from GE, Armstrong floors, Pella Windows, Kohler Co. and Benjamin Moore paints, it's apparent that many of these future products are closer to market than we might think.

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