The house of the future: What dreams are made of
Monday, June 13, 2016
When I was just a child and I stuffed myself with films from the '60s and '70s, I recall something that used to attract my attention. I had an obsession with the sceneries, backgrounds, furniture, spaces — so kitsch and pop art — mixed with booming influences, such as Andy Warhol's art.
Likewise, I could not forget the original architecture of these constructions, so comfortable, beautiful and extremely integrated in the nature. Some films, such as the terrifying "The Shining" by Stanley Kubrick or the indelible "The Party" by Blake Edwards, where the house is the absolute protagonist, are engraved on my memory.
However, what really encapsulated a culmination of a whole style was that architectural masterpiece from the 20th century called the Fallingwater House by Frank Lloyd Wright — my personal daydream from all those film buff experiences — which I fell in love with from the beginning.
Today, 30 years later, my innocence is over. I have attained rationalism, and what used to excite me is now even defined and quantified.
What used to affect me so much personally in that special way of constructing? It was undoubtedly the feelings related to comfort sensations, communication with nature, endless durability, personal safety, sustainability, self-sufficiency, as well as beauty and aesthetic appeal. My tastes may have changed, even due to my technology side, but this unconscious pursuit of childhood experiences still stands.
The new materials we are developing and we work intensively within our laboratories aim to support the feelings that unconsciously are still in our thoughts. When we talk about the new nanotechnology horizons and innovative materials, we are looking for an improvement of self-sufficiency, safety, aesthetics, durability, sustainability — in short, to have a bearing on the quality of life at home.
For that purpose, three main pillars are non-negotiable in forming the house of the future :
- Energy efficiency: Looking at aspects related to thermal insulation, batteries, efficient and photovoltaic lighting, water and waste management, in detail.
- Intelligence: Improving new limits of electronics, intelligent materials, home automation, advanced security systems.
- Health/comfort: Developing self-cleaning materials, monitoring resources (nanosensors), extremely acoustic-insulation materials, improvement of air quality (cutting-edge filters).
Materials technology — focusing on polymers as the object of the most innovative developments — represents an essential ally to achieve such complex objectives with which every ideal home should comply.
When we hear somebody talking about aerogels, nanofoams, thermochromic and electrochromic coatings, photovoltaic paints, etc., we refer undoubtedly to energy efficiency. Anti-bacterial, self-cleaning, omniphobic, self-healing, absorbant, electrical-conductive and flame-retardant materials are related to these basic concepts, such as comfort, safety and personal health.
We are working on a series of materials of the future, and our deepest conviction is to comply with that ideal, that dream: the house of the future, the house that we all bring out.
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