The Reconfigurable House is an environment constructed from thousands of low tech components that can be “rewired” by visitors. The project is a critique of ubiquitous computing “smart homes”, which are based on the idea that technology should be invisible to prevent DIY.
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.
In contrast to such homes, which are not able to adapt structurally over time, the many sensors and actuators of Reconfigurable House can be reconnected endlessly as people change their minds so that the House can take on completely new behaviours.
Reconfigurable House is built by Usman Haque and Adam Somlai-Fischer.
Many of the low tech elements of the House were first used in Reorient (www.reorient.hu), the Hungarian Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2006, and were partly based on a manual of Low Tech Sensors and Actuators for Artists and Architects first published in 2005 by Usman Haque and Adam Somlai-Fischer, freely available online as a PDF download.
Reorient was created by: Anna Baróthy, Balázs Bodó, Attila Bujdosó, Panni Dávidházy, Pierre Földes, Krisztián Kelner, Ida Kiss, Gergely Kovács, Melinda Matúz, Attila Nemes, Anita Pozna, Gergely Salát, Adam Somlai-Fischer, Barbara Sterk, Tamás Szakál, Samu Szemerey, Zsuzsanna Szvetelszky.
We would like to thank Hisako K. Yamakawa, Yui Ueki, Naoko Ezure, Ai Hasegawa and Georg Tremmel for their help in building the installation at ICC. And thank you to Balazs Irimiás for taking us to the fleamarket at O-i Keibajo, Tokyo!
Finally, a big thank you to Massimo Banzi for providing Arduinos for the project…
Reconfigurable house is open to the public in Tokyo, Japan until March 2008 as part of NTTICC 10th anniversary celebrations, curated by Yukiko Shikata.