top of page
  • Alice Hsieh

The way we work is changing our home

When a digital nomad settles down, a new home is born. It might be against the nature of ‘keep on moving’, but even the hardcore nomad will grow roots in somewhere. I want to talk about this demanding new home, the digital nomad base. In the digital era, home is not anymore a house with an office, but an office within a house. Soon, a typical home layout will be reconfigured to fit the dynamic of this lifestyle and evolve to different design typology. The semantic of residential architecture might also transform as we reside and work in the same address. In a micro perspective, the conception of a traditional house that consists of separate areas for living, cooking, dining and sleeping will quickly disintegrate. Instead of a kitchen, it is a coffee break area. Instead of living room, it is a video call room - a place with more pleasant or orderly background for an online meeting. Instead of a bedroom, it is an extended workspace because you might be tired of sitting the whole day at your desk, so why not work from your bed? The workstation of a digital nomad has at least a computer with internet, a desk and a decent chair. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are stranded at home under global lockdown and forced to work remotely. Setting up workstation has become a must. In Brazil, the working-from-home remotely space has been baptised with an Anglican name: 'home office'. The trend of remote work will soon apply not only to digital nomads settling down but also to most office workers. Remote work will prove to be more viable, safer or simply more sustainable. Corporations will review the need for physical spaces and realise the financial benefits of not having one. Cities will find relief in the transport system with fewer commuters. And perhaps in the future soon, the nine-to-five shift will seem just an archaic nonsense of the modern world. This might also represent the redundancy of office buildings and, as an architect, I cannot hold myself to think of what they can be converted to. Can the business district become a ghost town? Or a quarantine island? Before the pandemic, I was approached by a digital nomad who wants to settle down in Valencia, Spain, with the briefing to help in finding a property which can be renovated into his dynamic lifestyle, including the design of furniture to increase the flexibility of spaces. Say the workstation also as a bedroom, living room to function as a dining room and so on. We are in stand by mode When we settle down, we search for an ideal home, but the world is changing rapidly, and our way of living is not different. In thinking of a dream home we might no longer think of the ideal. The ideal now is adaptable. Will the digital revolution shape the architecture of our new homes? And from where we stand now: Or will coronavirus?


bottom of page