Chapter

The Disappearing Computer

Volume 4500 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 120-142

Assembling Connected Cooperative Residential Domains

  • Tom RoddenAffiliated withMixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham, Nottingham
  • , Andy CrabtreeAffiliated withMixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham, Nottingham
  • , Terry HemmingsAffiliated withMixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham, Nottingham
  • , Boriana KolevaAffiliated withMixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham, Nottingham
  • , Jan HumbleAffiliated withSICS, Swedish Institute of Computer Science AB, Kista
  • , Karl-Petter ÅkessonAffiliated withSICS, Swedish Institute of Computer Science AB, Kista
  • , Pär HanssonAffiliated withSICS, Swedish Institute of Computer Science AB, Kista

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Abstract

Between the dazzle of a new building and its eventual corpse ...[lies the] unappreciated, undocumented, awkward-seeming time when it was alive to evolution ...those are the best years, the time when the building can engage us at our own level of complexity.

Researchers have recently drawn on the work of the architectural historian Stewart Brand (Brand 1994) to explore the potential of ubiquitous computing for domestic environments (Rodden and Benford 2003). Of particular relevance is Brand’s evolutionary model, characterised by the interplay between the Six S’s – Site (where the home is situated), Structure (the architectural skeleton of the building), Skin (the cladding of the building; stone, brick, wood, etc.), Services (water, electricity, waste, etc.), Space-plan (the interior layout of the home, including walls, doors, cupboards, shelves, etc.) and Stuff (mobilia or artefacts that are located within the Space-plan). We seek to complement prior research inspired by Brand’s model. We focus particularly on the interplay between the Space-plan and Stuff in terms of human interaction. The supposition underlying this line of inquiry is that computing devices will be situated within the Space-plan and Stuff of the home and that the effort to develop new technologies for domestic settings may be usefully informed by considering the relationship between the two from the point of view of use.