2019-12-11

Forward-Looking Design Trends For 2020

As 2019 wraps up, our architects at Studio Design Group in San Luis Obispo share some architectural design trends that will lead the way in 2020.


Universal Design Expands Into New Territory

There was a time when accessibility rarely went beyond ramps, wider doors, and braille on elevator signs. Today, inclusive architecture embraces users of built environments by creating spaces that can be used more intuitively. People with limited mobility, reduced vision, and hearing impairments are getting guidance from building features that cue other senses. Use of light, pattern, texture, elevation, acoustics, and even scents will help users better understand, navigate and enjoy their surroundings. We anticipate big, bold strides as the incorporation of sensory design helps improve and expand user experiences.

Sustainability Opens Its Arms

As understanding of sustainable practices and resource conservation grows among architects, a focus on sustaining the wellbeing of the people using buildings will grow as well. Savvy designers recognize the importance of interdisciplinary design goals that include the physical and emotional needs of those inside buildings. Work environments will increasingly meet innate needs such as encounters with nature, social interaction and physical experiences. Buildings that support emotional and physical wellbeing will be more widely recognized as contributors to organizational stability and sustainability. The benefits of biophilic design, which increases interaction between the natural environment and building occupants, will become more widely acknowledged.

Nature Rules

Architects will keep looking to nature for answers to design challenges. Acoustics, temperature control, structural integrity, passive solar, and protection from the elements are just some of the topics nature and evolution have specialized in for years. Curious architects are teaming up with biologists, ecologists and physical scientists to gain better understanding of successful systems already in use.

Buildings Get Smarter

Improvements in broadband connectivity and local network capacity have allowed smart technology to take control of lighting, heating and cooling systems, communication systems, and more. A technologically-comfortable workforce could take things to the next level. Systems monitoring could help identify and group employees based on workflow patterns or shared environmental preferences. Data from smart buildings will help architects understand how built environments are used by occupants and allow them to balance resource usage and occupant needs.

It should be an exciting year as trends follow the quest to find balance in nature, function, efficiency and form. Our Studio Design Group architects in San Luis Obispo are always thinking about new and emerging ways to improve environments, solve problems, and stay one step ahead of the design curve. If you’d like to touch base with our forward-thinking team, reach out online or by phone at 805.541.3848.

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