New products for multifunctional homes and increasingly hybrid spaces. It is not Joe Colombo's Total Unit, but we are close to it

Does the house change? More than anything the location changes, or at least this is what is shown by the data of European and US real estate agencies. The numerous lockdowns have convinced many citizens to change their minds on metropolitan life, to choose a return to the countryside or to the hinterland. A tribe of smart workers who have decided to change their category, to become, for example, south workers and remain in their homelands after escaping from the expensive and overcrowded cities of the north. This is for Italy. Abroad, the phenomenon has a slightly different aspect and more than anything else emerges the desire for space, more comfortable homes and nature. So much so that some have prophesied a diaspora of urban populations.

Obviously it will not be so. Big cities are the engines of the economies of millions of families. And the UN forecasts say that by 2050 two thirds of the world population will live in large urban areas. Smart working is here to stay. This will really change the face of cities and homes. The neighborhoods will become more and more autonomous, small centers where everything, from services to shopping, is within walking distance. Good for coexistence, for the quality of life, for relationships and sustainability. The question of the house is more complex. The interiors will be increasingly hybrid and multifunctional. We had dreamed of nomadic and globe trotter lives. But for the next few years, thanks to the collective trauma of the pandemic, more than anything else we will be functional nomads in small spaces.

We will work from home. We will spend more time in a single environment, rarely very spacious. The living areas will be convivial places and offices, spaces for relaxation and intense creativity and concentration. The furniture will change, indeed they have already changed. And they will increasingly adapt to being the ideal setting for the many domestic tech functions  permeable to professional and private use. And we will spend more money on intangibles, like subscriptions to service platforms. Music, books, sports, education, entertainment: everything will enter homes that will adapt to contain full lives and, at times, a little complicated by the lack of space. For this reason everything must be beautiful and well done. The office and home world communicate and transfer design skills. As for the Touch Down Unit office system by Studio Klass, initially designed for Unifor, and now part of the Molteni&C catalog. And as far as wellness is concerned, Technogym has been working with Antonio Citterio for years on the Personal Line, the collection dedicated to home fitness. This year Technogym presents MyRun, the compact and silent treadmill that connects to the tablet, and as a Technogym Bike which also offers strength training, outdoor virtual training and an infinite variety of entertainment content.

The design is ready and so are its brands. You can tell by the projects born in the last twelve months. Furniture that changes function depending on the time of day. Seating suitable for indefatigable smart workers and their social moments. Spaces that become smaller thanks to the containers designed to divide the rooms, such as the Centimeter system by Lema, a fully customizable wardrobe in sizes and finishes, from this year also in the totally green version. Soundproofing panels, small private cabinets such as Pianeta by Elli&Rini, an object born from the collaboration with Dudan Design and covered in Dekton Slim, an innovative material by Cosentino. And again, movable walls and objects that change position easily because they are wireless. An example above all is the new version of Bellhop by Flos, which Barber & Osgerby have transformed into a sober and elegant floor lamp. Joe Colombo's Total Furnishing Unit comes to mind, but the imagination has totally changed. The microchip dematerializes objects, makes material needs much more rarefied. Another good news for the planet.