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07 Nov

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#Homelab Kitchen at Mozfest

November 7, 2015 | By |

At this year’s Mozfest, Alexandra (designswarm) and I teamed up and, with support from the excellent Marcel & Harm (The Incredible Machine) joined the BBC R&D Homelab with #homelabkitchen, creating our own kitchen area at Mozfest’s Global Village. I was wearing the ThingsCon hat mostly, whereas Marcel & Harm focused on the IoT Manifesto and how to apply the insights to the kitchen in particular.

We set it up as a series of workshops to explore questions around domesticity, gender roles, and overall needs around a 21st century home and kitchen.

We also used the occasion to launch thegoodhome.org, where we’ll continue to explore these quesitions.

Below, some impressions from day 1.

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20 Oct

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Understanding the Connected Home: Shared connected objects

October 20, 2015 | By |

This blog post is an excerpt from Understanding the Connected Home, an ongoing exploration on the implications of connectivity on our living spaces. (Show all posts on this blog.) The whole collection is available as a (free) ebook: Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s connected home

As anyone who’s lived in a shared household can attest, there will be objects that you share with others.

Be it the TV remote, a book, the dining room table, or even the dishes, the connected home will not doubt be filled with objects that will be used by multiple people, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes even without the owner’s permission.

On the whole, you find wealth much more in use than in ownership. — Aristotle

Rival vs. non-rival goods

What will these shared, connected objects be like? What characteristics will define them?

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19 Oct

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The 1926 Frankurt kitchen and what connected kitchens can learn from it

October 19, 2015 | By |

In 1926, Austrian arthitect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky designed the Frankfurt kitchen [Wikipedia], a kitchen concept aiming to be affordable and enable efficient work.

Image: Frankfurt Kitchen (Wikimedia Commons)

It was considerate, well designed. Groundbreaking in many ways, and influential in some. It made great use of space, brought high quality and top design to people at very affordable price levels. (About 10,000 units were installed in Frankfurt at the time.) All great, right?

But people struggled using it. And that’s where we can learn something for the connected kitchen.

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05 Oct

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Understanding the Connected Home: Augmentation not Automation

October 5, 2015 | By |

This blog post is an excerpt from Understanding the Connected Home, an ongoing exploration on the implications of connectivity on our living spaces. (Show all posts on this blog.) The whole collection is available as a (free) ebook: Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s connected home

A pioneer in human-machine interfaces and a solver of unusual problems, Doug Engelbart – inventor of the computer mouse, among other things – had a mantra: augmentation not automation.

Engelbart’s work focused on the human intellect and how to improve it. Yet, his framework conceptual for augmenting the human intellect can guide our exploration of the connected home, too.

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23 Sep

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Understanding the Connected Home: Etiquette

September 23, 2015 | By |

This blog post is an excerpt from Understanding the Connected Home, an ongoing exploration on the implications of connectivity on our living spaces. The whole collection is available as a (free) ebook: Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s connected home

Being a house guest and host in a connected home will of course in many ways be similar to how humans have socialized for centuries.

But there will also be aspects that are new, or that need to be negotiated. What might that look like?

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22 Sep

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Understanding the Connected Home: Different kinds of things

September 22, 2015 | By |

This blog post is an excerpt from Understanding the Connected Home, an ongoing exploration on the implications of connectivity on our living spaces. The whole collection is available as a (free) ebook: Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s connected home

The home is full of things that fall into various categories: furniture, lamps, appliances, gadgets, etc. For the connected home, we might need to re-examine these categories.

Which categorization scheme might lead us to interesting insights? Let’s explore a few.

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16 Sep

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Understanding the Connected Home: My personal data sphere

September 16, 2015 | By |

This blog post is an excerpt from Understanding the Connected Home, an ongoing exploration on the implications of connectivity on our living spaces. The whole collection is available as a (free) ebook: Understanding the Connected Home: Thoughts on living in tomorrow’s connected home

Through our smartphones, we have instant access to all our data. A personal cloud of data that travels with us.

But even though we know that (meta-)data about us and our whereabouts is constantly sent back to various entities – tech & advertising companies, government agencies, telcos – context-triggered data exchanges beyond the most basic level are still relatively rare. Despite all the efforts of Google Now, Siri, Cortana & co, most of the time we need to actively seek out the data/app/info we are looking for. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it might change for the connected home.

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