Today we presented our idea for a dwelling which encourages connectivity and I am very pleased with how the presentation went and am proud of what we produced.

At the beginning of the process ,I started by 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 communities, 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 took all these ideas forward to the final design so everyone has contributed to the design ideas behind the model and concept.

Ryan then drew up some architectural floorplans which enabled us to clarify our idea and have one central plan to work from.

To ensure that all the elements were finished on time and so that the project could evolve easily, we decided to split the tasks. Whilst the other half of the team worked on creating the cardboard model using techniques we had learnt in previous modules, Ciara and I worked mainly on the concept boards.. We had clear ideas about what our collective inspirations were and the reasoning behind each design feature. We created emotional technical drawings of important features which would be hard to convey in the cardboard model and required extra, artistic clarification and these images will be used on the concept boards.

There was some debate over what the scale should be as the proportions of the rooms would suggest that rooms have high ceiling but then the doors and windows would be huge. We should have been more precise with the scale when we started planning.

The interactive, playful living room was something we had wanted to include from the beginning but we hadn’t thought about how it might actually translate itself. We then came up with the idea of a kind of light up flooring which would change when stood on and therefore be interactive. We considered all the games the children and the family could play with it – like don’t touch the lava floor, or a kind of whack-a-mole type game and possibly play different notes of sound when different sections of the floor was stood on. Given more time though, I think the idea of an interactive play area could evolve and be built on much more, beyond games like twister that already exist.

I found the team-working aspect of this project easier and more engaging than the buggy project and I think this is because for the previous group task, we were able to designate separate tasks and work through each part more-or-less individually. However for this task, once we’d got over the initial nervousness, we happily shared ideas and continued to work together well, referring back to each other as we worked through each design problem and detail.