In July 2008 we hosted, with Adam Somlai-Fischer, Bengt Sjolen and Kitchen Budapest, a workshop at the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London, entitled "Scattered House: creating low-tech networked sensor environments" as part of the London Festival of Architecture to demonstrate the implications of designing environments and buildings in the context of family diasporas and ubiquitous networked connectivity.
Essentially a mash-up of Reconfigurable House and Pachube, the workshop resulted in a prototype structure that was connected and responded in realtime to activity in Japan, Hungary, Tower Bridge, London and Outer Space.
Video by Cesar Harada
For many of us, these days "home" is an idea constructed from several places, fluctuating over time, but nevertheless consisting of a strong cultural entity for the individual. By creating a space which is just like the way we live and feel about real spaces, Scattered House is an example for an architecture which could become sensitive to our altered notion of 'home'.
The workshop was an exploration of the idea that there is no distinction between "virtual" and "real" or "local" and "remote" -- the distant half of the house, linked via the network was treated equivalently to the "local" half (in both directions), suggesting an understanding of architecture that is resolutely "human" (in the sense of being something that can be inhabited and designed and determined by its occupants) yet context-free (because it does not privilege geographical location).