The impact of the post-pc era on residential architecture


I posted about the impact social media could have on architecture a year ago and have recently been thinking about how our post-PC devices, impact our in-home behavior. My wife and I are on our devices all day and these are some of the things I believe will be impacted.

No more book shelves – I’ve always thought book shelves displayed prominently as a backdrop in residential architecture what a great way to add some texture (and make you look like you’re really smart). With the death of the paper book and the rise of the eBook, it’s going to be interesting to see what people put on their walls, I’m thinking artwork or textured walls.

The family room gets tweaked – Back in the day the TV was more placed in the prominent place on the wall so that all could see. It’s still there but there are now PCs, iPads and smartphones in the room at the same time. What is on TV many times takes a back seat and instead of people facing the wall, they end up facing one another (sitting on the couch), sharing via IM, Skype, etc what’s they’re looking at. (We do this a lot in our dining room.) I think the family room is going to get a lot more loose and A LOT more engaging. Computing has gotten more social online and I think it get more social in a physical sense.

Little nooks – Since computing no longer requires a desk and really crappy posture, I would expect to see little spaces to escape  into, to be built into homes. A private space where you can watch a movie on your iPad or play Angry Birds on your iPhone. This sounds antisocial but with the rise of texting, I actually seem to “talk” more to some in my house if I’m in a different room. (My wife and I text to each other if one of us is in the basement and the other is on the 2nd floor.)

Indoor/Outdoor spaces – The hybrid space has been around for many years and look for slight tweaks based on the fact that people are computing for entertainment outdoors as much as they are indoors. The thought of sitting on the back porch in the fall, by a open fire pit, Facebooking with friends makes my inner geek rejoice!

Remote location – With the nature of friendship and interaction changing, I expect to see people living in even more remote locations. As long as people have an Internet connection . . .

Know thy neighbor – This isn’t a direct impact on architecture but I feel like you are going to know your neighbors a little better. You may not talk to them face-to-face but with the rise of hyper-localism, you may talk to them all the time.

By Michael Myers