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Marshalls, the UK’s leading supplier of hard landscaping materials, street furniture and water management products, this week revealed the findings of a significant research project.
The research, named Future Spaces, is being launched at Marshalls showroom at Clerkenwell Design week, the UK’s leading independent design festival.
Future Spaces is the result of intensive research, combined with interviews conducted with academics, industry commentators, journalists, architects, landscape designers, materials technologists, engineers and futurologists. The aim was to understand how the format, planning, specification and materials used in the construction of public, private and commercial spaces, both indoors and outdoors, might look and function in ten years time.
The research examines how four unstoppable global mega-trends; ‘sustainability’, ‘shifting demographics’, ‘accelerating urbanisation’ and ‘smart is the new green’, will dictate society’s future direction and shape our world. Falling out of these mega-trends the research has identified twelve emergent themes which will significantly reshape the spaces we live in over the next decade.
Amongst the twelve identified themes are; ‘the blurring of public and private spaces’, ‘urban greening’, ‘the gender neutralisation of society’, ‘placemaking for the people’, ‘building in resilience’ and ‘the circular economy’. Within each of the twelve themes the research examines what impact they will have on design, material use and the practical use of our spaces.
Founded in the 1880s, Marshalls is considered to be one of the landscaping industry’s foremost thinkers and innovators.
Chris Harrop, Marshalls Group Marketing Director, said: “When we embarked on this journey, we hoped to learn how commercial, public and domestic spaces and the materials used to create them might change and perform over the next ten years, but we found much more.
“It was soon clear that our environments are changing at the behest of a number of unstoppable mega-trends that will shape the world we’re all going to live in. But at ‘street level’, we found more pervasive forces at work that will change the nature of our built environment – both subtly and dramatically.”
Harrop concludes: “While this is a key strategic project for us, our hope is that Future Spaces will become a useful resource to those charged with meeting the interior and exterior design challenges which lie ahead.”
More information on Future Spaces is available from www.marshalls.co.uk/futurespaces.