In October I got to spend the day with my son Jeff to celebrate my birthday. He treated me to lunch at China Chilcano .
in downtown DC. This is one of Jose Andres restaurants that features Peruvian food with Asian and Spanish accents in a festive decor.
But before we had lunch he treated me to the exhibit "Making Room" at the National Building Museum at 4th & F Streets downtown. "Making Room: Housing For A Changing America" brings to light the demand for housing for singles living alone versus the nuclear family of the 1950s.
In 1950, 43% of our households were married couples with children under 18. Fueled by this demographic, prosperity, the automobile, and the dream of homeownership, suburbanization drove the housing industry.
Today 30% of the housing market is singles living alone spanning all ages and incomes. In this era there is a range of living arrangements to include roommates, single parents, multi-generational, and fluid families.
Zoning regulations that have been in effect for a long time have made it difficult to create alternatives to meet the needs of this growing housing market. Pioneers and innovative thinkers are opening the possibilities for alternative solutions. "Making Room" explores these ground breaking developments offered at all levels of the market from micro-units, tiny houses, and accessory apartments to co-housing, co-living, and beyond.
Architect Pierluigi Colombo designed the centerpiece of the exhibit, the "Open House." The concept is a flexible 100 square-foot home with an amazingly efficient layout, movable soundproof walls, and multi functional furniture.
I am thankful to my son for exposing me to these design ideas for small spaces.