This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Empathy---Critical
in Normal 2.0

 

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 30, 2005

Pet-Centric Architecture

Architects who design homes to meet the current and anticipated future needs of their clients are sensitive to changing lifestyles. Their response to trends has included mother-in-law apartments, fiber optics, family entertainment areas, and home-based offices. Computerization technologies support a range of "smart home" devices that allow a homeowner to control door locks, lights, heat, appliances, and other features from remote locations.

What's next?

With the increasing humanization and popularity of pets, we're now hearing about homes that are designed to be pet-friendly. Windows are placed low on the walls so pets can see out easily at their level. Bay windows are designed so that they can serve as sun rooms for pets to soak up those warm rays.

Music systems are installed to play soothing music and animal-friendly sounds while the humans are away. A recently released CD by Skip Haynes "Ask the Animals: Songs to Make Dogs Happy!" might be one of the doting pet owners' selections. These songs, including "You're a Good Dog", "Scratch My Back", and "Squeakey-Deakey", have been validated with tests on hundreds of animals. For more information on the research behind the music or to buy the CD, visit http://www.petcds.com/ask_animals.htm. (A follow-up will be "Songs to Make Cats Happy!", expected in about three months.)

Doggie doors are designed with Plexiglas windows so the dog can see what's on the other side instead of going in-or out-blind. Back and side yards are being designed with ample space for Fido to run and play and invisible fencing is getting more and more sophisticated. Kitchens now offer pet nooks where the understanding owner may place a pet bed or basket, so that their valued pets may rest comfortably while "mom" or "dad" fixes the meals.

Expect the trend of the humanization of pets to continue and to affect many different aspects of our lives. As more Baby Boomers become Empty-Nesters, they will seek to fill the vacuum left by their departed children with the four-legged variety. Like human children, these valued family members will affect how we function day-to-day, take vacations, and even choose residences.


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