I am a long way off from being a millennial – however, my two children fit squarely into this category. Over lunch recently we were discussing the differences between building and designing to suit the needs of a baby boomer as compared to a millennial and here is what I learnt.
1. Large interior spaces are expensive, and millennials are happy to have a smaller living space so long as there is a communal hub/café/bar downstairs with free wifi they can use. This is all about being social and it’s important to millennials.
2. Millennials like to use coworking/shared spaces and are happy to work in this type of environment as opposed to having a dedicated study in their unit.
3. Their home and shared spaces must be worthy of sharing on Instagram. Bold artworks, great signage and cool interiors are a must.
4. Greater use of technology within the units. Millennials are tech savvy and embrace technology with open arms. Expect to see voice operated blinds, television and lights used in units in the future.
5. Sustainability is important – they care about the environment and want to minimise their carbon footprint where they can.
6. Millennials like to spend their money on eating out and socialising with friends. They care less about owning “stuff” and more about immersing themselves in the experience.
What I love about the millennials (and having two of my own has made me appreciate this even more) is that it keeps me on my toes. It’s certainly great food for thought and has given me something to think about for my future developments.
If we fail to appeal to this demographic we will have missed an opportunity. This applies to hotels, cafes, bars and retail. If we design only for baby boomers, millennials will never visit those places, but if we design for millennials, the rest of us will likely follow suit.