Prototype house embedded with thousands of low-tech sensors & actuators that can be designed & configured by occupants and visitors
The Reconfigurable House, a collaboration with with Adam Somlai-Fischer, was a structure constructed from thousands of low tech components that can be "reconfigured" by its occupants. Any sensor/actuator can be connected to any other sensor/actuator -- it is the occupants of the house who determine the systems that run inside it.
First installed at ICC in Tokyo, Japan, and open to the public in 2007, the project was a challenge to ubiquitous computing "smart homes", which usually assume that technology should be invisible and prevent DIY or user-repairs. Smart homes actually aren't very smart simply because they are pre-wired according to algorithms and decisions made by designers of the systems, rather than the people who occupy the houses, making them brittle and non-adaptive.
In contrast to such homes, which are not able to adapt structurally over time, the many sensors and actuators of Reconfigurable House can be reconfigured and reconnected endlessly using a simple touch-screen interface as people change their minds or discover new requirements or goals, so that the House can take on completely new behaviours.
Reconfigurable House 2.0, by Usman Haque and Adam Somlai-Fischer, built with Ai Hasegawa, Barbara Jasinowicz, Bengt Sjoelen, Gabor Papp and Tamas Szakal, was open to the public at Z33, in Hasselt, Belgium on display from March 16 to May 25, 2008.
For further information and video please see the Reconfigurable House @ propositions.org.uk.
Reconfigurable House remixes and recycles sensors and actuators from Reorient, the Hungarian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, 2006.