Design Council launches report on ‘what people need from their homes’, for 2030

Part of the government-backed Home of 2030 competition being run by BRE, Design Council, RIBA Competitions and the Ministry of Building Innovation + Education (MOBIE), A Public Vision for the Home of 2030 has been developed by Design Council to inform the second stage of the Home of 2030 competition as well as providing guidance for the housing sector as a whole.

 The Design Council writes:

A Public Vision for the Home of 2030 has been developed by Design Council to inform the second stage of the Home of 2030 competition as well as providing guidance for the housing sector as a whole.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:

“Today’s report follows one of the largest-ever exercises to place people at the heart of new homes – revealing precisely what we need from the homes of the future.

I’m keen to see the Home of 2030 entries later this year and how they take these principles on board to deliver new low-carbon homes and independent living for older generations. Green, clean homes will help our economy to bounce back more sustainably than ever before.”

Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive of Design Council, said: “We need to shift the conversation about housing to one about the home, and to emphasise the voices of those who matter the most when it comes to the design of our future homes: the people who will live in them.

“Even before Covid-19 brought about new ways of living and working, this research started to highlight that we still need to get the fundamentals right. We all need more, different things from our homes as we move through our lives, and this needs to be recognised, accommodated and celebrated.

“As well as informing the next stage of the Home of 2030 competition, this report should be a tool for everyone involved in housing delivery. Good homes impact everything – from our health and wellbeing to the success of those bringing them forward and national efforts to tackle climate change. At a time when housing delivery is particularly complex it makes individuals’ priorities clear.”

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Design Council’s 20 Principles for the Home of 2030

Setting out a vision and principles for successful homes of the future, the report focusses on 20 key principles based on the findings from local workshops and polling among a nationally representative sample of adults in England undertaken by Savanta ComRes.

These principles emerged from undertaking public workshops and were tested through polling. They are divided into six main themes which reflect participants’ key priorities and concerns:

  1. Being fit for purpose
  2. Giving people agency
  3. Addressing the climate crisis
  4. Connecting people and their communities
  5. Meeting the needs of every life stage
  6. Representing something different

The responses of particular groups – for instance younger (aged 18-34) compared to older adults (55+), those with and without caring responsibilities, and those living in urban compared to rural areas – were also analysed and the findings set out separately in the report. Everyone surveyed was an adult living in England.

This new insight will inform the second stage of the Home of 2030 competition later this year – where shortlisted designers, developers, SMEs, contractors, funders and product suppliers will come together to develop their concepts in Phase 2 of the competition.

Elli Thomas, Lead Programme Manager at Design Council who sits on the Home of 2030 team, added: “It quickly became clear that it is at home where people feel and celebrate their control, independence and agency; where they seek and find comfort and where they can live their lives and fulfil their values.

“During this engagement process we looked at the issues that people see as important in their future homes and explored how this differs across different regions, environments, and demographic groups. We highlighted the differences between what people have at the moment and what they want in the future, identifying particular life stages where certain factors are more important and exploring some of the emotional as well as functional requirements that people have from where they live. Understandably, people want to live in their homes for as long as possible, which means accommodation must be able to adapt. We also need to look wider. As one workshop participant put it, a house is important, but the neighbourhood ‘is what makes it a home’. As another put it, we should ‘start with the village’.”

This research was carried out alongside Savanta ComRes. The full data tables for the Savanta ComRes polling is available online at

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For more background see the IHBC NewsBlog

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