, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 123-128

Soft architectures for everyday life

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Abstract

Technologies not only change “external reality” but also change our internal consciousness, shaping the way we experience the world. As the reality of intelligent environments is upon us—ushered along with the age of ubiquitous computing—we must be careful that the ideology these technologies embody is not blindly incorporated into the environment. As disciplines, engineering and computer science make implicit assumptions about the world that conflict with traditional modes of cultural production. For example, space is commonly understood to be the void left behind when no objects are present. Unfortunately, once we see space in this way, we are unable to understand the role it plays in our everyday experience. In order to make computationally enhanced spaces that are meaningful at the level of the everyday, we must exorcise the notion of intelligence from their design and replace it with life. Henri Lefebvre’s discussions of the space of everyday life provide a framework to help conceive this transition.