As part of our Future of Home Living Series, PSFK Labs reached out to experts to get their take on the changes we’ve identified that are driving the evolution of the home. We recently caught up with Steven Dean, Partner at Prehype and Principal at G51 Studio. Read our chat with Steven below to hear more about the future of quantified living.
With the explosion of sensor-embedded objects that have moved from simple wearables to products for the home, how does that impact our daily life and routines? What are the benefits of all that data?
One of the ways I think about home is as a place to relax, reflect and regroup to prepare for the next day. Reflecting on the day is a personal ritual that’s usually limited to those few moments during the day that had enough of an emotional impact for me to recall. But there’s so much more that happened and a lot of it was probably recorded. I don’t need all the details but I’d love to surface more of my everyday actions — the stuff that’s recorded and converted to data — in a way that I can be more reflexive about those kinds of details.
I have all sorts of daily habits with most of the digital objects that I wear and carry with me but most of my energy is spent on checking battery levels and recharging multiple devices. This is slightly annoying. I see an opportunity to design a system that acknowledges the necessity of the ritual but that creates a more aesthetic and joyful experience.
When technology goes from passive monitoring to being more anticipatory and responsive, how does that change our relationship to our homes? What is the balance between human input and HAL from 2001?
We start to listen to what our homes need. That sets off a conversation between us, our home and the things in our home. We express what we want. We set goals. We might negotiate with our home and others in the home. As designers we can balance this new relational experience between us and the home by being more explicit about the needs of things and the flows of information that those things create.
What do you see as the next big trend(s) urban living and why is this important?
The notion of home in the urban environment is expanding beyond the walls of the traditional house. Our Zipcars are all around town. Our Citi Bikes are ridden by others. Our workout areas are in gyms, parks and pools. Our drills and breadmakers are with the neighbors. We have food, laundry and packages incoming. And more stuff going out. What’s the rhythm of all this extended home activity? There are parts of this ecosystem to be optimized and parts to be left to serendipity. Designers who can think of the next set of services to support all this are going to have lots of fun.
What are three things you’d put in your perfect home or apartment?
An alarm clock that gently wakes me up, senses when I’m awake and prepares me for my day. “Good morning. Looking like a breezy summer day. How about the blue linen shirt that just came in from the cleaners last night? Don’t forget, you have a 9:30 meeting and there are plenty of CitiBikes at your regular station. You’ll be on time. You also have a couple of priority emails that came in overnight. And it’s your mom’s birthday today. Call her and tell her how much you love her.”
PSFK has announced the latest in a series of trend reports. Following studies into retail, social media, gaming, work and mobile, the PSFK Labs consulting team have generated the Future of Home Living report. That report manifests as a free summary presentation, an in-depth downloadable PDF and an exhibition in New York City that runs to August 16.
RSVP below to take a tour of the exhibition at 101W15th.