By the end of the 21st century, the real estate where we work, shop, and play will look more like the Starship Enterprise’s holodeck than bricks and drywall we know today, says Marcel Bulling, futurist and author of Welcome to the Future Cloud—2025 in 100 Predictions. “Commercial space will be physical and virtual world in one, sort of a gaming zone. Tap a wall and you see new fashions, tap again to make a purchase, tap again and communicate with your colleagues,” he says.
What are the best types of structures to meet those future uses? Multifunction buildings that can shift from office to hotel to entertainment center almost instantly. “Stop seeing a building as a combination of walls. See it as a combination of apps that can be updated continuously and can change the functionality of the building according to day-to-day needs,” Bullinga says. Another trend: self-supporting mega-cities that no longer depend on the transport of goods but obtain most goods and services locally. “Globalization is out; walk and bike around cities with offices, farms, and homes, are in,” Bullinga says.
Interested? Read the full interview with Bullinga:
What trends do you see in the way and manner people work in the next decade?
Learning and working turns into a game. The virtual and physical world is one. The quality of a virtual meeting will equal the quality of a physical meeting, and we will turn more and more into virtual meetings for learning, working, and shopping. Our buildings will start to look like a holodeck: a sort of gaming zone with gaming walls. Tap the wall and pay, tap the wall and shop, tap the wall and fit new clothes, tap the wall and do your homework, tap the wall and sell to your clients, tap the wall and communicate with your colleagues.
The strict difference between office buildings, warehouses, apartments, and retail space will disappear. The new workplace is mobile. The new workplaces are surprising places: Starbucks, an old petrol station, your own attic, your self-driving car. And, oh yes, sometimes you will also visit your physical office to meet your colleague for a coffee. You tap into the cloud around you for all your information and contacts.