Coupled with exponential population growth, the rise of the urban singleton is forcing city living spaces to shrink. In America, where apartment construction hit a 10-year high in 2016, the average dwelling has downsized by 7% since 2009. Meanwhile, the rise of gig and freelance culture, the emergence of less orthodox family structures and the unaffordability of housing for younger generations are creating further challenges.
Designers, architects and planners are applying their ingenuity to adapt to these challenges. They are optimising available space with flexible studio apartments and work-living spaces with transformable furniture and adaptable spatial configurations that change at the push of a button. Pre-fab structures and portable furniture are coming to the fore, reflecting an increasingly footloose mindset driven by experience over ownership.