Each year, as technology progresses and lifestyles evolve, old trends are replaced with new ones. This process happens across all industries including architecture and design. But trends don’t appear from thin air – typically change comes from progressive industry leaders who are one step ahead of their competition. As new trends emerge providing better options, it’s time to expire outdated ones.
“We are happy to be at the forefront of change in the world of architecture,” explains Matthew Rosenberg, Founder of M-Rad, an architecture and design studio located in Los Angeles, California. “While some trends hold steady and survive the test of time, some trends should never have developed in the first place.”
Here are the top 10 architectural trends that should be left behind in 2018:
1. Furniture designer knockoffs. In 2017 millions of knock-off furniture pieces were sold, but what most people don’t realize is that supporting these cheaply made goods results in negative outcomes. Often there are safety risks and questionable labor practices involved. If you can’t afford the real deal, save until you can and support the craftsmanship and moral labor practices of authentic goods.
2. Artificial turf. While during drought stricken times, ripping up your lawn and replacing it with artificial turf may have seemed like a good idea, research shows ‘fake grass’ is harmful to the environment and human health. The synthetic fibers in artificial turf are typically chemical-laden, end up in landfills and eventually the chemicals seep into our oceans, contaminating marine life. While real grass and soil naturally regenerates itself and recycles the air, an organic process which lowers C02 emissions- artificial turf does not, creating a ‘heat trap’ layer which adds to global warming problems and allows bacteria and mold to grow, making it harmful for kids and pets.
3. Greenwashing. The words “green” and “sustainable” don’t mean much in the marketing world anymore. These words, and even the use of the color green have been so overused by industries to sell products (which may not even be at all environmentally friendly), consumers don’t know what is actually a healthy or sustainable product anymore. Since there is no true definition or regulation of the words, leaving them behind will give people a chance to evaluate a product without fear of misconception.<
4. Instagram Museums. Creating art merely for the sake social media hits is a trend that should be left behind in 2018. Instagram museums and art murals created solely for the purpose of social media misses the point of developing a piece of art. Art should be created for the sake of self-expression, not Instagram followers.
5. Realtors and Brokers. Leaving out the “middleman” in real estate transactions is a trend that will save buyers a lot of money. The future is designers working directly with developers. Cutting out the middlemen allows architects and designers to have more control and equity with the projects, which will help reduce costs for buyers.
6. ‘Smart’ coffee tables. A coffee table was never supposed to be a catch all, with a refrigerator, charging stations, lights, speakers, and more. Such all-in-one designs might make sense in a ‘man cave’ or den, but not for use in the everyday home setting. “Smart” coffee tables promote laziness and tend to look cheap and unattractive.
7. Patterned facades. One look around a newly developed city block and it’s clear to see, the patterned facade trend has gone too far. Facades are not always necessary however if using a facade, one simple pattern is more appealing than going overboard with multiple layers, textures, and patterns.
8. Basic residential interiors. As the “hygge” lifestyle becomes more popular, boring designs, flat ceilings, box style rooms will become a thing of the past. Complex designed ceilings, secret reading nooks and cozy crannies, unique lighting, and interesting angles are much more appealing than walking in a basic, square sterile room.
9. Dining Rooms. Millennials are buying houses now, and do not use a dining room for formal dinners like their mothers and grandmothers once did. The new norm is converting the dining room into a more efficient and useful multi-purpose space such as an office/ dining or additional living space.
10. One level parking lots. As cities become more populated and real estate less abundant, one level parking lots will begin to convert to stacked parking or multilevel to make the most efficient use of valuable space. In the future, as lack of parking and green space continue to be a problem in growing cities, we will see designers and architects start to implement hybrid parking/ green space structures.
“The architecture industry is evolving at a rapid speed right now,” added Rosenberg. “But not all change is for the best. It’s important to recognize what trends are beneficial in the long run and allow people to make the most efficient use of places and things they interact with.”
Rosenberg, who was born and raised in Saskatoon, Canada, spent nine years studying architecture and environmental design. He has traveled all over the world to study structures and cultures which inspire him. Rosenberg has earned Bachelor degrees in fine arts and environmental design in architecture, as well as a Master degree in architecture. When he was ready to bring his architectural influence back to the West, he headed straight for Los Angeles to open shop and start implementing his vision into action.
Currently, the team at M-Rad are working on projects around the globe, from apartment buildings in Los Angeles to a private members club in Philadelphia, to a boutique hotel in Taipei. They have created designs for mixed-use towers, luxury hotels, sports parks, and more.
About M-Rad Architecture
M-Rad’s mission is to revolutionize the architecture industry by creating bespoke solutions to universal problems. M-Rad’s unique, multi-faceted business model incorporates their work in every step of the development process; from design and building to marketing, branding, and products. Expanding their scope allows them to re-conceptualize architecture and urban growth through social and environmental research and provide cities the opportunity to thrive. For more information on the company and to view their business model visit: www.m-rad.com.
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