Originally, the main function of a home was to provide shelter and room for people, as well as to protect them from inclement weather and any other threat that may arise. Over time, and as our society has evolved, homes have expanded their functions and have become key elements of the different people life stages: since we decided to become independent from parents, through the creation of a new family, even when the nest is empty again. But what happens next?
In most cases, the emotional and economic weight of the brick is of such magnitude that it anchors us to continue living in our homes when the children have left, despite the fact that they may have become too old or do not meet the needs of our new age.
In a society with a growing longevity as ours, it is necessary to start drawing new housing solutions that respond to the real needs of the “new old people”. The brick has to stop weighting so much in our lives. Lighter housing solutions must be found to allow us to live with greater independence and greater freedom.
Surely we will find some of those solutions just by observing the new elders, but quite possibly the best solutions will be found if we have a more inclusive vision, taking into account all generations. Not long time ago we studied the following indicator in some Spanish cities: square meters inhabited by age of the inhabitant. The result was what we expected: the older and therefore the less house you need, the more square meters you live in. Much more space than when you are starting a family and the more house you need. The conclusions of the indicator allow us to outline solutions of exchange or exchange between different generations with different life stage moments, or even other ones that facilitate sharing a home, re-creating a nest or a community in a different way, etc. Solutions that release the anchor and in some cases give us freedom even to be able to change our residence location. Today here and tomorrow there. Lighter, more flexible and simple solutions, but safe.
To make the mass of these bricks lighter, we need knowledge and diverse gray matter: from youth, from experience, entrepreneurship, architecture, sociology, economics, technology ... And we have it already, we just need to mix it.