Salone del Mobile Milano

Trend research: Nomadic House.
Temporary living

[…] Moving should be less of a headache and more exciting. 

(Sam Wrigley, Designer)

In world rendered increasingly borderless by technology, a new cross-generational class of people that has absorbed the modern concept of fluidity into their lifestyles has begun to emerge. They are a “tribe” of urban nomads for whom the state of transitoriness and constant flux are the norm as regards many aspects of life: work, relationships, place of residence and, last but not least, the home. 


Now, as never before, habitative spaces are increasingly being seen less in terms of “permanent” asset and “ownership” and more as increasingly flexible and temporary configurations capable of changing suddenly in response to the requirements, needs, and life stages of people who feel equally at home in Milan and New York and who aspire to an increasingly driven mobility, both at home and away from it.

Generation Rent is one of the younger population brackets, mostly made up of students or young professionals constantly on the move, whose life is not concentrated in one single place, city or habitation, who are unused to ownership and given to easy swift displacements even when these involve moving house and who are thus interested in new, easily dismountable, moveable and reconfigurable types of accessories and furnishings. 


This nomadic way of life has given rise to innovative ventures such as Roam, a network of shared habitations available for weeks, months or longer. These are an alternative mode of co-living for people who enjoy the nomadic way of life and are able to work remotely. Each resident has their own room and private bathroom, sharing a kitchen and living space with the other inhabitants and has a coworking space at their disposal.

Founder Bruno Haid estimates that some one million two hundred thousand people are location-independent, not just young professional freelancers but also thirty-year-old couples who are trying out this way of life before having children, or couples whose children are at college and who want to travel the world for a few years.

Designers, such as Anikó Rácz founder of the Hungarian Hannabi brand, have taken on board the consumer desire for furnishings that are easily moved around and altered, even within the domestic space: adapting to changing needs, small spaces and/or frequent relocations.


The concept behind the Urban Nomad Sofa was informed directly by this need. This unstructured sofa consists of two large rectangular cushions and a pair of triangular supports that serve as backrests. The various components can be taken apart and used for different purposes: as a single seat, as two small lower mattresses or as a single bed. The lack of frame or feet means that the components are light and manageable as well as easily combined.

This macro-trend breaks down into two interesting micro-trends representative of its concrete manifestation in the habitative and design worlds: Moving Interiors and Mobile Living.