by Bailey Shelton | photos by Adam Gibson Architectural Photography, 360 Design Tours, and The Addison Group


In the late 1920s and 30s, Muncie residents took part in a sociological survey dubbed The Middletown Studies, which became the standard of the “average American city.” Indiana was the clock the country set their watch to.

Midwestern trends still have a way of reaching the whole of the country. The modern farmhouse, a style of home that Hoosiers have widely embraced in the past five years, is now as popular as the craftsman or prairie home in American suburbs.

Hoosiers are continuing to push the envelope in the home industry, with companies like TRESSS Aquatectural Designs leading the charge. Mechanical engineer Andrew Heard took his experience with racecars and applied it to a problem in his own home. Their Smart Plunge Pool, moving pool floor and Aquatectural Pool Covers combine to make a versatile pool that fits on almost any lot.

Necessity can spark innovation, and so too can mass construction. In his book “American Homes”, architect Lester Walker references an architectural style called “contractor modern”, a product of the housing boom from 1948 to 1955. The style took notes from Frank Lloyd Wright, but used materials that could be mass produced. Many of these processes are still being used today.

In response to the need for houses, the National Association of Home Builders created “The Trade Secrets house”, a “good-looking, skillfully engineered, $15,000 house” that American contractors could theoretically build anywhere. Today, that’s $172,329.

Associations like Build Indiana Roots are posing similar challenges to builders and legislators. In response to a shrinking middle, they’re asking what it’d look like to feasibly produce a home valued under $200,000.

Luxury homes are pushing for technological solutions to make their property last longer. Builders like G&G Custom Homes and Christopher Scott Homes are using high-end structural products and partnering with brands like McComb Pella Windows & Doors so that homes with picture windows are energy efficient. FLATMADE CONCRETE CO. is using the latest innovations to extend the life of each foundation they pour.

Meanwhile, homeowners are exploring different solutions to improve the homes they already have. Keianna Rae Harrison of HER Home Design says she’s noticed more clients are implementing long term design solutions and wellness into their homes.

With a 30,000 home deficit facing our state, and national home prices hitting record highs, every new home project has the potential for innovation. There is work to be done, and that’s where innovation thrives.