The AIA is a professional membership organization, established in the mid 1800s, with 300 local and state chapters throughout the United States.  Its nearly 88,000 members are licensed architects, professionals and allied partners.  Goals of the organization are to be the voice of the architect profession while providing continuing education for architects to maintain their license, be a resource for emerging architect professionals, set the standard in contracts, and to conduct market research to provide insight to the economy and trends of the architectural and design professions so as to serve the community.

In a recent industry magazine, the AIA provided their forecast of top trends through 2025. Generally, economic and demographic shifts are the dominant factors in home design and the 500 architects contributing to the forecasting are seeing these same shifts affecting the vision for the next decade.  The key factors shaping the trends are the aging of America’s population—specifically the baby boomers retiring, the upswing from the past decade’s housing collapse and the Millennials struggle with a phlegmatic economy which causes difficulty in forming independent households.

But considering everything, even additional factors including technological breakthroughs, evolving building code and regulatory issues and consumer preference, the AIA was able to put together a number of trends we can expect to see continue or even increase over the next decade.

CONTINUING:  Kitchen is the focal point of home, open design. 

INCREASING:  Focus and investment in complete outdoor rooms including outdoor kitchens.

INCREASING: Space devoted to changing work patterns/home office.

INCREASING:  Energy efficient/sustainable design elements: solar panels, water reclamation systems and tankless water heaters.

CONTINUING: Aging in place/universal design elements: handrails, wider hallways, one level living, lower windows.

INCREASING: Integration of technology in automated systems to control energy use, like motion-sensor activated lighting and automated controls for temperature and security.

INCREASING: Consumer awareness about environmental health issues – and a growing mistrust of government and industry leading to use of low or no volatile organic compounds for paint, composite wood and natural fiber.

INCREASING: Design strategies that strengthen homes against natural disasters including elevating residences, windows with impact glazing, dedicated “safe” rooms and back up power generators.

INCREASING: Building in established locations that are more accessible to jobs, public transportation and commercial activities.  Since building in these more accessible locations is typically more expensive, new homes will frequently be smaller and feature more innovative designs.