Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Inc.
Future_of_home_title GRAY-02.png


The process and methodology for researching The Future of Home.

In the seventh year of the summer research fellowship the firm presented us with the topic of The Future of Home. Our research quickly began to formulate itself around the urban home.

What makes a successful home? How does one urban high-rise differentiate itself from another? What qualities make a building a home? What features of a home will continue to be valued and which will no longer be needed?

These questions directed our research into seeking what principles make up an urban home and understanding the decisions people make as to where they want to live.

We began by analyzing Valerio Dewalt Train projects and participating in site tours to observe how people communicate what is important in a home. We were curious how the branding of various buildings aligned with contemporary, urban culture. After analyzing the firm’s housing projects, we then identified several buildings within a 1 mile radius. The chosen buildings varied in scale and type in an effort to identify similarities and differences within the factors that make up a home.

Through listening on our site visits, carefully observing how buildings brand themselves as a home, collecting and sorting through literature, and analyzing surveys conducted within the office, we have identified 13 principles associated with the notion of an urban home. These principles begin to reflect how current needs in an urban home may adapt due to lifestyle and cultural shifts in the future.


How much value is placed on various factors in an urban home?

matrix 3.png

Principles of Home

The 13 Principles of Home idenitify what is generally important to people in an urban home and how each principle may be impacted by future trends.
Social Spaces
Connection to Outdoors
Environmental Awareness
Smart Technology
Pet Friendly
Work From Home
Unit Size

Urban Home Explorations

Examples that are reacting to current and future trends in urban housing as identified in the 13 Principles of Home.
Slice  Nasim Sehat

Nasim Sehat

Urban Nest  Penda, GQ, MINI China

Urban Nest
Penda, GQ, MINI China

Common Coliving  Common Living

Common Coliving
Common Living

Bamboo Micro Housing Proposal  Affect-T

Bamboo Micro Housing Proposal

(W)Ego House  MVRDV

(W)Ego House

Modular Housing  Factory OS

Modular Housing
Factory OS

Flat 27A  Design Eight Five Two

Flat 27A
Design Eight Five Two

Tower within a Tower  Kwong Von Glinow

Tower within a Tower
Kwong Von Glinow

Urban Hybrid  MVRDV

Urban Hybrid

Share House LT Josai  Naruse Inokuma Architects

Share House LT Josai
Naruse Inokuma Architects

Nest Tool Kit  Brooks + Scarpa

Nest Tool Kit
Brooks + Scarpa

Work + Stay  Zoku

Work + Stay



Final thoughts and next steps in the future of the urban home.

What is the future of the urban home?

We do not have a concrete prediction of what the future of the urban home may look like. What we do know, however, is that urban homes will greatly be affected by shifts in lifestyle and cultural trends. The Principles of Home are a way to identify what is currently important within the framework of an urban home and what factors may be impacted in the near future. Changes in affordability, location and density will always impact urban housing, but factors such as flexibility, customization and social spaces are likely to adapt and continue to play a vital role in urban homes.

Questions moving forward:

What principles, if any, are universal in an urban home?

Are certain principles simply a trend?

Will future generations be attracted to urban living?

What new urban typologies will emerge to respond to housing needs?

How can we design spaces to enrich and fulfill future urban housing needs?

If the unit is no longer the focal point of an urban home, how do you design a space for all residents that evoke the feeling of home?



Site visits, articles and surveys that have contributed to our research.

All Resources

[1] Socio-Cultural Trends Shaping Commercial Real Estate — Shelley Cernel
[2] Are Apartment Renters Willing to Pay More for Green Features? — Bendix Anderson
[3] Millennials put pets first when buying a home — Diana Olick
[4] Millennials now primary pet-owning demographic — JAVMA News
[5] For Multifamily Developers, It Is All About The Dogs — Kyle Hagerty
[6] Disruption Report — National Multi Family Housing Council
[7] Understanding Generation Z is the Key to Multifamily Housing Success — Brian Hardy
[8] Gen Z: The Ultimate Wellness Consumer — Joe Vennare
[9] How Can We Connect with Nature in Our Cities? — Rebecca McCarty
[10] Finding connections to nature in cities is key to healthy urban living — Michelle Ma
[11] Future Proofing Multifamily Housing Amenities for Generation Z — Renee Gastineau
[12] Future Housing: 6 Forward-Thinking Visions Make Dense Cities More Livable — SA Rogers
[13] What is the Home of the Future anyway? — Thomas Ricker
[14] Temporary Retrofit: Micro-Dwellings for Unoccupied Buildings — Urbanist
[15] New Joint Center housing report foresees steady rental demand over the next decade — John Caulfield
[16] Slowly but surely, working at home is becoming more common — Dan Kopf
[17] Millennials want experiences not possessions, say co-living entrepreneurs — Jessica Mairs
[18] Citation: Nest Tool Kit, a Modular Take on Affordable Housing — Clay Risen
[19] Six of the best co-living developments from around the world — Anna Winston
[20] Design Eight Five Two updates Hong Kong flat with sliding walls and space-saving furniture — Jessica Mairs
[21] Building the Housing of the Future — Matthias Tauber, Daniel Feldkamp, Christian Guse, Ailke Heidemann, Till Zupancic, and Tobias Schriefl
[22] Happy Together — Lizzie Widdicombe
[23] What Apartment Renters Want — NMHC
[24] Boomer vs Millennial Wants — NMHC
[25] Early Benchmarks Show ‘Post-Millennials’ on Track to Be Most Diverse, Best-Educated Generation Yet — Richard Fry and Kim Parker
[26] ‘True Gen’: Generation Z and its implications for companies — Tracy Francis and Fernanda Hoefel
[27] How Lighting Affects the Productivity of Your Workers — MBA@UNC Staff
[28] Deloitte research reveals a "generation disrupted": Growing up in a world of accelerated transformation leaves Millennials and Gen Zs feeling unsettled about the future — Deloitte Global
[29] Dorms for Grownups: A Solution for Lonely Millennials? — Alana Semuels
[30] A modular apartment factory is set to touch down in Chicago — Jonathan Hilburg
[31] The Trends and Future Growth of Multifamily Real Estate Amenities — Friedman Real Estate
[32] The Design of Homes in the Year 2039 — Keith Flanagan
[33] More Optimistic Than Millennials, Gen Z Is Here to Revolutionize the Housing Market — Eliza Theiss
[34] In the apartment amenity arms race, service and technology win out — Patrick Sisson
[35] Data-Driven Architecture — David Friedlander
[36] "We should think very seriously about what a bed is today" says Beatriz Colomina — India Block
[37] The Living Space of the Future: Co-Living and Big Data-Driven Design — David Grasso
[38] The Generation Z world: Shifts in urban design, architecture and the corporate workplace — Celine M. Larkin, Melissa Jancourt and William H. Hendrix
[39] What Does Generation Z Think When They Move? — Oz Moving
[40] 5 intriguing trends to track in the multifamily housing game — John Caulfield