Nomadic Futures: 12 Home Design Solutions for Changing Urban Lifestyles

Work, school, rapidly changing cities and declining home ownership rates have us moving more often than ever, so the kinds of heavy antique furniture favored by older generations aren’t exactly practical in the modern world. In fact, we might become even more mobile in the future, our sense of ‘home’ tied more to a handful of physical objects and intangible feelings within ourselves and our loved ones than to a particular structure. For this nomadic future, designers envision minimalist, portable furniture systems that can be packed up at a moment’s notice, but retain the ability to make us feel comfortable, cozy and cocooned.

Hannabi Urban Nomad Sofa

Sofas are often among the biggest, bulkiest things we have to lug up and down stairs and cram through small doorways when we move, and they don’t usually disassemble in a way that we’d want to deal with at our destination. Enter the Urban Nomad Sofa by Hungarian furniture brand Hannabi, a modular setup consisting of stacked cushions that can be used together or separately in various configurations. Two long rectangular cushions create the base of an average-sized sofa when used together, or comfy mats when used apart. Triangular supports can be used as pillows or backrests.

Transformer Furniture 2.0 by Povilas Danius

Designs like this bedroom in a box by Povilas Danius make us wonder why IKEA isn’t already selling similar offerings. The Transformer Furniture 2.0 set packs down to the size of a bookcase but contains a twin bed, shelves, lighting, underbid storage and a closet system with a built-in shoe organizer. Packing it up takes seconds thanks to a few hinges.

Nomadic Life Set by Gerardo Osio

The concept of taking the feeling of home with you wherever you go manifests in beautifully simple physical objects with Nomadic Life by Gerardo Oslo, a collection of comforts that can make all the difference when you’re in an unfamiliar environment. It includes a pillow, tatami mat and a wooden box with a lid that doubles as a tray containing copper tableware, a candleholder and a flower vase.

Sweet Seat by Dear Human

Sweet Seat is a modular furniture system by Dear Human that can be a squishy chair or an extra bed for houseguests, all in a simplified minimalist package. The upholstered cushions are held together by elastic bands when stacked, and you simply remove them when you want to stretch out.