Before yesterday, I had never heard of the National Building Museum. Now I feel obsessed with seeing this cultural institution devoted to interpreting the history and impact of the built environment.
A new exhibit opening on November 18 looks particularly intriguing: Making Room: Housing for a Changing America. This installation addresses changing demographics and lifestyles that drive how we want to live. For example, nuclear families now account for just 20% of America’s households. At the same time, nearly 30% are comprised of single adults living alone. While solo living is a growing trend across all ages and incomes, supply has been slow to meet the demand.
Making Room: Housing for a Changing America explores cutting-edge typologies for living through case studies and The Open House. Designed for the exhibition by architect Pierluigi Colombo, the 1,000 square-foot Open House has multifunctional furniture and a hyper-efficient layout. It also has movable walls, allowing space to be reconfigured along with changing needs.
A number of companies have participated in Making Room, with a goal of promoting the power of design in solving today’s housing issues. Among them is Ceramics of Italy, a sponsor of the exhibition. Ceramics of Italy donated Italian tiles from member companies Ceramica Vogue, Gruppo Romani, Emilgroup, Tagina and Ceramiche Ceasar. Tiles that mimic natural materials (think wood, anthracite and terracotta-cement) come in a range of sizes from 8” x 48” planks to elongated subway tiles. Grouts, mortars and sealants are from Mapei.
Duravit focused on highlighting the advantages of bathroom technology for an aging and diversifying population. Their Architec bathtub, which takes a modern approach to the standard alcove bathtub, offers a solution for small spaces. The high-tech SensoWash Slim toilet and innovative OpenSpace B Shower Screen can also be seen in the exhibit.
AJ Madison provided appliances from Miele, Electrolux and Elica for kitchen and laundry rooms, illustrating how smart and space-saving appliances can be best configured for a variety of needs.
Hansgrohe and AXOR products have been specified for this evolving project and will remain throughout its conversions. In addition to faucets and handshowers, robe hooks and other bath and shower accessories have been selected.
ASID has also joined as a sponsor, shedding light on the impact of design and contributing to the process through an ASID Consulting Design Committee.
Making Room: Housing for a Changing America will continue through September 16, 2018.
Take the virtual tour that you can find at the bottom of this page to see how efficient a configurable 1,000 square-foot home can be.