Architecture Design and Industry Forecasts for 2018

Author: Taylor Young (December 2017)

Trends in the architecture and design industries can be used as predictors for the future, helping to create forecasts for what homeowners may be looking for in the years to come. Many industry influencers predict several new trends for 2018, including open floor plans, sustainable design, and Smart home features. Including any of these and the following trends into your work in 2018 is sure to have a big impact on client satisfaction.

Modified Wood

Eco-friendly design and sustainability have topped most home and business owner lists for the last several years, and forecasts for 2018 predict more of the same. This includes using materials, such as modified wood that are durable, low maintenance, and that have a very minimal impact on the environment.

Modified wood is created using a bio-based liquid on softwoods, rendering them harder and more durable than many popular hardwoods. Because softwoods are faster growing, they create a more sustainable product. And because the resulting material is so low maintenance, it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, which makes it very attractive to busy homeowners who want style, but without the added maintenance costs.

Engineered Wood

For interiors, engineered hardwood, like that made by Nydree, is proving to be exceptionally popular as well. Engineered hardwoods have a thin, hardwood veneer over several layers of material, each facing a different direction. This layering produces a very stable floor that doesn’t react to moisture or humidity the way that solid hardwood floors do, so the material can be installed below grade, in bathrooms, or in other areas that don’t typically see hardwood.

Nydree takes the process a step further, infusing their floors with acrylic. The result is a beautiful, long lasting floor that doesn’t use as much hardwood as competitors, providing a better, more eco-friendly product that requires less maintenance and care. This meets the needs of two trends at once – the desire for sustainability in building materials, and the low maintenance care that most people want in their homes and offices.

Hardwood Plywood

Sustainability in design extends to all areas of the industry, right down to the hardwood used to build cabinets, panels, and furniture. Hardwood plywood, like Columbia Forest Products’ PureBond, contains no added urea-formaldehyde, and meets LEED standards

PureBond is a moisture resistant plywood that can be used anywhere a hardwood veneer is required. As homeowners become more conscious of what goes into their homes, by building with a better quality plywood, you can not only get better results, you can also meet consumer demands at every level.

Handmade Furniture

From a design standpoint, many features that homeowners are looking for include things like open floor plans, and furniture that can have multiple uses and purposes, particularly in smaller spaces. However, there is also an emphasis on quality. Homeowners want pieces for their homes which have history, interest, and depth that goes beyond the way that they look.

This may be why there is a trend toward handmade furniture pieces, such as Amish living room furniture. With classic lines and details, Amish furniture fits into many different styles of décor, including some modern designs. The furniture lines are clean, with little ornate or decorative detailing, which makes them an ideal fit for many homes, particularly in busy households where low maintenance and durability are preferred.

Oversized Tile

Along with open floor plans, comes the need for a single flooring that can extend from one end of the home to another without interruption. Hardwood is a popular choice for many homes, but in modern and contemporary style settings, there is also a trend toward tile, particularly oversized porcelain tiles in a variety of textures.

Oversized tiles that are larger than 18-inches have fewer grout joints to deal with, which makes less of a grid on the floor. This in turn creates a clean, open appearance that works well with the trend toward open floor plans. Porcelain tile in particular is easy to care for and durable – it doesn’t require special cleaners or sealing and is unlikely to chip or crack. It also comes in a wide range of styles and finishes, including those that mimic the look of metal, glass, and even fabric, so it’s possible to find a tile that will complement any style or design.

Look to the Future with Today’s Trends

Trends help point the way toward what’s going to be popular or sought after in the coming years. That’s why so many industry influencers are careful to broadcast what they see as the next big thing. If you’re looking for ways to increase client satisfaction in the coming year, consider incorporating any of these forecast materials or designs into your work in 2018. Look for sustainable, durable, and low maintenance style and materials to help capture industry ideals today and tomorrow.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

I Love My Architect – Facebook



#TEDTALKS: How to Get Your Ideas to Spread


In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age. His newest interest: the tribes we lead. Full bio »

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.

What is the #EarthPyramid Project?

Project Mission

The aim of the Earth Pyramid project is to create a monument that every nation and an entire generation of the world’s children can contribute to. With the many issues the world is facing it is now more important than ever for us to start working together to educate and prepare our children for the challenges they will be facing in their lifetimes.

Aided by modern technology the world has never been more connected and it’s a great time in history to try and get the world working together and discussing these issues.

The Earth Pyramid’s mission is to act as a focal point for learning about other countries around the world and to look at how our actions and inactions today will affect the future our children will inherit. By connecting a generation of the world’s children we hope this shared bond will create a greater understanding of other cultures and encourage a generation to be united in tackling and supporting each other in future decision making and actions. If we combine our efforts as a planet it will be amazing to see what the power of a united generation can achieve.

This monument will be a celebration of our world with its many cultures and although it won’t bring about world peace or solve the many issues our planet is facing it will help to educate and give people a chance to connect on a global scale.


Desmond Tutu  Bryan Bounds

Charline Evans  Jean Pierre Houdin

Vincent Brown  David Stone

(click on an image to view his/her video)

A Few Testimonials

I think your project is interesting and inspiring…………………..
Kaj Leo Johannesen (Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands)

We have found your project very interesting and will be very glad to be a part of it……………….
Rakotozafy Herizo (Political Adviser, Government of Madagascar)

H.E. the President found your idea to be very innovative and interesting and would like Timor Leste to be part of this creative experiment…………………….
Gregório de Sousa (Chief of Staff, Government of Timor Leste)

The aim of the project to strengthen bonds between different cultures and capture some of the history of participating countries is a laudable. We support this project and are happy for the Cayman Islands to participate.
Duncan Taylor (Governor of the Cayman Islands)

We would be delighted for the Isle of Man to be involved in this project……………..
Tony Brown (Chief Minister, Isle of Man)

Your project is a wonderful initiative and we would like to be a part of it………
Jean-Paul Adam (Secretary of State, Republic of Seychelles)

Click here for additional information about this project and click here if you would like to share your ideas.

We would love to hear from you on what you think — please leave a comment.  If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.

Open Call: Topics for Future Articles

::::::: TOPICS ::::::: 

If you woud like to contribute some text or a quote please contact me by email.

Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


I was recently asked about my thoughts on the physics of Architecture and the spatial aspects of Architecture.  Below are some of my initial thoughts….
Space is not the “left-overs” of Architecture but rather the space itself is the Architecture. As a
life-long student of Architecture it is my humble opinion that it is the voids created by the solids
that make the experience of Architecture interesting and pleasurable. The only reason I design
and construct walls (and other solids) is to create the space (the negative). Space can be
experienced in various dimensions (as was portrayed in the film Powers of Ten, 1968 American
documentary short film written and directed by Ray Eames and her husband, Charles Eames.
The film, rereleased in 1977 depicts the relative scale of the Universe in factors of ten.)

“The only reason I design and construct walls….is to create the space….”

Robert Irwin, untitled, 1971, synthetic fabric, wood, fluorescent lights, floodlights, 96 x 564" approx., Collection Walker Art Center, Gift of the artist, 1971.

The process of producing Architecture from a monolithic form is to subtract from the solid what
is needed to create the negative space for the occupants to inhabit and enjoy. Then again, my
first memories of Architecture were great massive, heavy cathedrals and medieval castles, so
perhaps I am biased in some ways. The added dimension of a regular, monotonous grid and
violent irregular collisions and penetration of the pure form are yet another layer of interest in
post-modern Architecture (as can be seen in the work of Bernard Tschumi – Parc de la Villette).

Robert Irwin, Untitled, 1980, mixed media: fiberboard, paper, plastic and fabric, 22-3/4 x 22-1/8 x 10", Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, 1980.49.6.

Finally, as a self-proclaimed photographic-artist/Architect, I use still images in my creation of the
artwork. The capturing of a single moment of time is much like an Architect’s plan. When I create
images from my photographs I am also exploring “the absence” or “the void” or what you call “the
reveal.” What fascinates me is that the process of creativity in and of itself can inform the final
form of what will become the Architectural space, which will be built by the hands of others and
eventually inhabited and experienced by others. This is very different from the assembly of a car,
a computer mouse, or other industrial item. Perhaps a more appropriate comparison is to that
of conductor who leads the orchestra in a certain direction but allows some interpretation by the

Robert Irwin, untitled, 1971, synthetic fabric, wood, fluorescent lights, floodlights, 96 x 564" approx., Collection Walker Art Center, Gift of the artist, 1971.

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Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

A Few Things to Consider While Designing

Most of the following items can be inter-related and juxtaposed.  This is not intended to be a comprehensive list or listed in any priority.  It is a list of things to think about (and talk about with your designer) when you find yourself designing your next project.

A.)      Program/Use  

  1. What are you designing?
  2. For whom are you designing?
  3. Are there any important relationships between the various “program” spaces?
  4. What are the project constraints – cost, site, schedule, users, etc.?
  5. Is there a defining thought – a certain look, feel, sense of place; that needs to be defined?
  6. The “space” created for the program informs the Form & Aesthetics of the space as well as the Context where it resides.

B.)      Context/Site

  1. Where is It?
  2. Think: Location, Location, Location (like City vs Rural).
  3. Solar Orientation – Where does the sun rise and set? Which way is North?
  4. What are some the adjacent natural and manmade site features?
  5. Where do the winds come from, the shade, the sun, water elements/features, are there existing trees and/or vegetation that need to be considered.
  6. Utilities – How are basic needs met? (Think: water, plumbing, electricity, sanitary waste, domestic waste, and connectivity to outside world, i.e., internet and other telecommunication).

C.)      Form/Aesthetics

  1. Scale, Proportion, OrderThoughtfulness of scale.
  2. Think outside the plan, elevation, and sections – How does the space look/feel in perspective, the way one moves through the space?
  3. Think: When you enter a traditional Roman Church the entrance (narthex) is typically low making the entrance into the vaulted nave more dramatic.
  4. Materials (inside and outside). Local materials indigenous to the project site?
  5. Texture – The texture and “feel” can define the interior and exterior of a space.
  6. Color – How does color or lack of color define the space.  Is the color applied or is it part of the natural materials?
  7. Image – What are the defining elements of the design?  The façade?
  8. Structure – How will the space be defined?  What type of materials will be used? What type of structure will be used (Bearing Walls vs Columns, etc.).

D.)      Other Factors

  1. The Client – Ultimately (right or wrong) the clients basic needs need to be met (especially if there is a written contract).
  2. Societal Benefits (Questions like are we doing the right thing are important!!!)
  3. The Earth/Environment

For example:

  • How does the program, site/context and Form/Aesthetics impact the local and global environment?
  • How do the decisions made above impact the environment?
  • Transportation – labor and materials.
  • Is there a way to reduce the size of the “space” or “spaces” – Smaller footprints and volumes result in less energy use (Think: HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing services/systems).

Click here for some more ideas on design.


CENTRAL PARK: The Lungs of the City as a Skyscraper

When I visited Central Park earlier this year with our guests from out-of-town I could not help but to image this incredible space as an edifice.  Architects have always been fascinated with towers and skyscrapers.

What if we turned Central Park from the horizontal to the vertical.  Of course the image below is very literal, but–

Can we apply some of the theories of Fredrick Olmsted to a skyscraper in the city?  Could this be the beginning of the resurgence of the city?

Click here for more Architectural theory and concepts.