The post-World War II suburbanization of America was driven by the housing needs of nuclear families, the USA’s leading demographic. In 1950, these families represented 43% of our households; in 1970, it was 40%.
However, today, nuclear families account for only 20% of America’s households, while nearly 30% are single adults living alone, a growing phenomenon across all ages and incomes. A groundswell of action by housing entrepreneurs is beginning to expand housing options, making room for new models and design solutions.
Making Room: Housing for a Changing America explores these cutting-edge typologies through case studies and the presentation of The Open House — a flexible, 1,000 sq ft home designed for the exhibition by Architect, Pierluigi Colombo. The Open House features a hyper-efficient layout, movable walls, smart technology, and multifunctional furniture, allowing the space to meet the needs of a variety of today’s growing but underserved households. During the exhibit’s run, The Open House will be transformed to feature modern living environments for a range of age demographics: roommates, an extended family, and a retired couple with a live-in caregiver.
Among the companies participating and supplying products for The Open House are AJ Madison, Ceramics of Italy, Duravit and Hansgrohe.
The National Building Museum will also host educational programming and panel discussions to address issues of housing disparity and the national housing crisis. The programming is organized by the museum and the Citizens Housing & Planning Council, and presented in partnership with Resource Furniture and Clei with generous support by the AARP Foundation.National Building Museum | nbm.org