Today we had a fascinating talk from Martin about connectivity and ‘smart’ homes. We are trying to make our homes so efficient and make technology do so much for us that it’s becoming ludicrous (see internet connected egg tray), unnerving and dangerous (see Samsung’s terms and conditions for it’s TV that has voice recognition, which suggest that you do not speak about personal matters and details loudly in front of your TV because the information is likely to be collected).
We now using spaces differently and design must keep up, whether it be 24 hour internet cafe’s in Japan which people are sleeping in and treating as ‘homes for hours’, multi-generational houses or transformer houses where furniture folds away and changes the purpose of the room.
Our challenge for this brief is to design a dwelling concept for a connected society. We could explore social connectivity, community connectivity or digital connectivity.
I started looking at the problem of TV dinners and how strange the idea is that, without the TV, families are effectively all sitting in silence, staring at the corner of a room. If we look back at historical peoples, most social situations are based around a circle and central point, from campfire culture to the settlers crossing America in their wagons who would park up in a circle when they stopped for the night. Having a central, circular element to our dwelling would help centre the family and bring them all together.
Within our group we had several ideas about improving communication and connections between family members such as a gadget that would turn off the wifi to force familial interactions, or holding community learning classes withing the dwelling. We will start drawing up our plan and constructing a representative model next week.