Futurologist Oona Horx Strathern shapes the future: How we will live and reside in the future

29. August 2022 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Oona Horx Strathern is a futurologist specializing in living and housing, the proud owner of an Irish passport and, all in the here and now, a “crazy dog named Bubbles.” She is the wife of the well-known futurologist Matthias Horx, founder of the Zukunftsinstitut near Frankfurt am Main. She has lived with him in a “Future Evolution House” on the outskirts of the city since 2010. It’s still red-hot.

The future makes you sexy, you might say. After all, who doesn’t want to know what will be in the time to come. Oona Horx Strathern says of the way she thinks about the future: “For us, the topic of the future is about things that have meaning. This also concerns social aspects. We are getting older, family structures are changing and so are the needs of individuals. This is where architecture has to adapt.”

Oona Horx Strathern – Humans change – so does living

Because humanity is changing, architecture must also change: “That’s why we decided on a modular system for our house of the future. We need flexibility.” It has proven its worth, because the house, which anyone can view on the zukunftshaus.at website, doesn’t seem a bit dusty even after 12 years. On the contrary, it still exudes the wistful glow of the future.

For all its future orientation, Oona Horx Strathern is mercilessly down-to-earth. Maybe you have to be, when you’re constantly dealing with what isn’t even there yet and may never come to pass.

So the Irishwoman has lived and worked in various cities and countries in Europe, she has hitchhiked through Africa and learned to box and surf on the other side of the 50-year border. Before turning to futurology, she worked as a journalist for the U.K. Observer and made television films for Central Television. The red-haired Irishwoman comes across as bright and bouncy, which is perhaps how it should be when you think in terms of the future and, in a way, yes, live.

Life is always presence

“Life is always present, concrete, practical, down to earth,” says Oona Horx Strathern. A contradiction? Not for her. The idea of Future Evolution Living is primarily about Mindfulness. Her concept of future living includes 5 aspects of Mindfulness:

  1. Mindful Home – a new mindfulness towards architecture and its relation to human RELATIONS.
  2. Mindful Living – the relationship to nature, movement and nutrition: how is this reflected in design, architecture and gardening?
  3. Mindful Energy – what are the ecological areas to consider in the context of energy production and mobility?
  4. Mindful Matters – the choice of materials (their sensuality and origin), consumption cycles (“cradle-to-cradle”), the economy of too much and the lifestyle of the right measure. Nutrition and health.
  5. Mindful tech – how do “smart” technologies affect our soul? Keyword humane digitalization.

Future Evolution Living does not end with houses, but can and must be thought further. Oona Horx Strathern are concerned with questions such as: If living space in certain areas becomes less and less and thus more expensive, what are the implications for urban and building planners? What are the consequences of a pandemic that reminds people that they may be spending more time at home? How do future generations want to live? What impact will climate change and environmental awareness have on our future lives. Oona Horx Strathern: “The growth in interest in sustainable or vegan design alone is exciting. There are already many designers who are also focusing on vegan. I’m not vegan myself, but I’m interested in how you can make such super beautiful designs.”

In her keynotes, the internationally sought-after top speaker talks about the urban landscape, how we will live and dwell, new forms and functions, humanized digitalization, new rules of work and “the female future.”

The future -made exciting. Oona Horx Strathern manages it easily.

Oona Horx Strathern

Trend researcher & Author