Tutor: Juan Sanin

Tmetable: Wednesday  8:30am-11:30am

Location: 009.02.016


This course analyses the ongoing transformations of domestic live using design ethnography methods and develops speculative design concepts to imagine the material culture of the future home.

In the last 20 years, domestic life has changed in dramatic ways that reflect broader social changes. We have seen how the traditional model of the nuclear family is being replaced with new living arrangements including couples without children, shared housing, single parents or same-sex couples. The impact of the shared economy on domestic environments has transformed rooms or entire houses into Airbnb homes. The pervasiveness of Wi-Fi and digital technologies such smart TVs, mobile devices and home assistants have dislocated everyday routines and reconfigured domestic environments around new digital practices. And as a result of the ageing society, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens have to be transformed to become elder-friendly.

Despite all these changes in domestic life, the material culture that surround us and most of the objects that we have at home are still based on design principles, functions and typologies established hundreds of years ago. The design of dining tables, kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, shelfs and so on are based on ways of life of traditional families, but do not respond to the ways we live today at home. These tensions and contradictions between traditional domestic objects and the things we do at home suggest we need to revise the design of domestic material culture in order to adapt it to the contemporary home.

This course builds on Design Anthropology frameworks and methods to analyse the current domestic revolution and develop speculative design concepts to imagine the material culture of the future home. You will learn design-ethnography methods to conduct practice-based research exercises to understand how we live at home in the 21st Century. Using mindsets from speculative design and the Lego Serious Play methodology we will re-imagine existent or imagine new domestic objects. At the end of the class we will make a mock-up representing everyday life in the home of the future.