As the number of single-person households rises, more products are being developed for this growing cohort.

The number of one-person households in the UK increased by 16% between 1997 and 2017 to 7.7million, and is projected to rise to 10.7million by 2039, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The study also reveals that those currently living alone are more likely to be renting than couples without children, and spend an average 92% of their disposable income, compared with households comprising two adults, who spend 83%.

This group has fast become a lucrative market, with food brands developing single-serve and miniaturised products directed at consumers who do not want to splash out on bottles and packets that are too much for one person to get through and then need storing in limited space.

From wine in a can to miniature paste pots and sachets of porridge, brands are growing the number of convenient small-scale options they provide. Last year Tesco expanded its range of single-portion foods by nearly 40% to 430 products – now it’s possible to buy smaller packets of vegetables and single fillets of steak, as well as an array of single-portion ready meals without wasting food.

The Guardian estimates that the meals-for-one market is worth more than £20bn.

Recognising the potential for products that make life easier and more sociable for the single person, designers are turning their hands to creating products that are intended to enhance life in a small, one-bedroom apartment.

Sieger Design’s Small Size Premium Spa, which was produced in collaboration with Dornbracht, aims to create a beautiful bathroom and deliver a premium spa experience in an area of around six square metres. It also features space-saving shower applications that enable the user to shower lying down as an alternative to having a bathtub.

While compact solutions address one aspect of life in a single-person household, solving other problems that living alone presents is an area of fertile ground.

As the number of single-person households continues to rise, products and ideas that solve the problems that living alone presents are an area of fertile ground Click To Tweet

The Table Top Super Block in New York, created by design studios Kwong Von Glinow and based on the shapes of dining tables, is a conceptual modular building system designed to combat loneliness in cities. With a view to constructing residential buildings on footprints as small as eight by 30 metres, it creates spaces for residents to come together and interact.

www.kwongvonglinow.com
www.kwongvonglinow.com

Similarly, Dutch designer Edwin Van Capelleveen has devised Social Balconies in a bid to tackle the rising epidemic of social isolation. These modular structures facilitate interaction between neighbours by connecting standard balconies with bridges and stairs.

www.edwinvancapelleveen.com/social-balconies

Inhabitants are able to create areas where they are able to engage with each other, and even share activities like gardening via planters that can be attached to the fences. The system can be applied to any building, and is intended to invigorate the facades of old, outdated buildings, as well as support the growing numbers of single consumers.

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