Haunted by Design


Part of a series: Buildings That Protest

I can’t get the idea of Buildings That Protest out of my mind.

Recap: This is the realization that with the growth of smart homes and internet of things technology, we are envisioning a future where buildings no longer stand mute, but become active participants in shaping our behaviour.

Halloween 2008
Creative Commons License photo credit: vissago

Infused with Ghosts

They are haunted structures, populated by machine spirits. Some of the spirits will be part of the architect’s vision, or the builder’s, or government code. Others will be after-market add-ons, mandated by utility companies or offered by interior-decoration gurus. Some will be installed by the people living there. DIY renovators, house hackers. Some will be malevolent. Black-hat digital haunters, wall-paper spammers, zombie-house botnets.

There will be things running behind the walls and they are actually going to be called “house daemons”.

Haunted houses that you can patch.

I was trying think of a neologism for modifying your house in software. With the idea of hacking it up, I looked up the etymology of renovation. “1432, from renovacyoun: ‘spiritual rebirth'”. Perfect.

Where will the control panels go? Will they be embedded in house shrines? Will we rebuild roman larariums? What is the Feng Shui of house spirits that you can commune with through the command line?

All of: Buildings That Protest