August 14, 2013
The Future of Home Living
PSFK’s home show bristles with technology.
Peg Furniture System
The Doorbot remotely unlocks the door as you enter PSFK’s “The Future of Home Living” exhibit. You just entered a connected and cohesive home where you can experience everything from the Hue Bulb that sets mood lighting via a smartphone, to the Nest Thermostat, that learns users’ patterns of preferences for temperature. This trend of employing smart devices, believes PSFK founder Piers Fawkes, will be mainstreamed as users’ habits are recorded and controlled, remotely, via smartphones.
Other smart devices in the exhibit include the Belkin WeMo–with it you can turn off electrical appliances remotely. This is particularly useful for those in the habit of leaving the iron plugged in. “All of these things have the ability to talk to other things, but there is no platform, there is no Windows software that controls it so well,” says Fawkes, yet. When some brand does make a platform that’s compatible with multiple smart devices, these devices will become more common and easier to use.
Adaptivity is a main theme of the PSFK exhibit. This home is all about living in small spaces with beautiful objects. Here you’ll see the Peg Furniture System, which can be combined in different ways and stored flat, hanging on the wall. The Vurv Wall Desk is also wall-mounted, features storage space, and folds into a compact unit when not in use.
Vurv Wall Desk
Essential to urban living, the ThinBike, designed to be suitable for small spaces also folds flat–its handlebars are in line with the frame of the bike for easy storage. All these elegant, compact objects that make the most of a small space.
In the living room, entertainment is always readily available. “The second theme that we talk about is on-demand and, it’s about a control of your environment, a control of the space around you, and bringing the best of what’s around you to you,” Fawkes tells me. This idea is embodied in such entertainment technology as the Sony Projector and the Jawbone Jambox, as well as by the trend of curated discovery. Users are invited by PSFK to branch out of their comfort zones, and discover new things. For instance, subscribers to GetArtUp get new pieces of art every six months; it’s like Netflix for walls. Hello Fresh delivery eases cooking chores by sending recipes and pre-measured ingredients to subscribers. Julibox offers a similar service with cocktails.
Throughout the home, devices are at work to make the space healthy for the residents. Equilibrium is the third major trend at the PSFK show; the focus is on making the home into a sanctuary of clean, quiet, and calm. This is aided by sound controlling furniture, like the Pétale Lamp and the Dezibel Floor Screen. Other products monitor users’ personal health– the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor connects to a smartphone, while the Smart Mirror measures your heart rate. This is a home that looks out for users’ health and wellbeing.
In the future we will interact with our homes, thorough beautiful and useful objects hooked into smart technologies. Not a bad vision for the way we’ll live.
The PSFK Future of Home Living report is a fantastic resource for anyone making new products for the home. Check out our contribution to the PSFK Future of Home Living report here in a Q&A with Metropolis editor in chief Susan S. Szenasy.
The PSFK show will be on display until August 16th, at 101 West 15th Street. Tickets are free and can be obtained here.
Samantha Macy is a blogger and designer interning at Metropolis.