Certain Measures

Home Is Where the Droids Are

Picture: Certain Measures

Home Is Where the Droids Are explores the proliferation of autonomous objects that surround us, which are increasingly accessed as common utilities.

How can a future citizen satisfy living, nourishment, and entertainment needs in this kinetic world of on-demand living? The future house no longer needs to be a single, static space, but instead a constellation of services orbiting the occupant. It adapts to the human choreography of life, and its symbiosis with the swarm-like choreography of our new autonomous machines.

The project draws on playful and graphic elements of dance notation, space capsules, and drone swarms as well as speculative futures of food, sleep, and entertainment to conceive a cloud in which to live, love, and grow. Considering themes like communal capital, services-based life, or self-ownership of objects, the project explores implications beyond the architectural and spatial to the economic and political.

With the increasing autonomy of objects, the project examines a new heteronomy of spaces.

CERTAIN MEASURES (DE, US) is a hypothesis driven office for design and architecture. Founded by Tobias Nolte and Andrew Witt, it is based in Berlin and Boston. Certain Measures draws from research in architecture, technology, strategy, and history in experimental modes of design. They explore the impact of machine vision on design, the spatial effects of self-owned autonomous objects, and work for clients including major industrial partners, strategic and governmental entities, and cultural institutions. Previously both Tobias and Andrew were directors at Gehry Technologies in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. Recent works have been exhibited at Centre Pompidou in Paris, Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Futurium in Berlin, and at the Angewandte Innovation Lab in Vienna. Certain Measures were named finalists for the Zumtobel Group Award in both the Young Professionals and Applied Innovation categories. In 2018 the installation “Mine the Scrap” was acquired for the Centre Pompidou’s permanent collection.

1 October 2019

The Finished Prototype

Home Is Where the Droids Are will explore the proliferation and domestication of autonomous objects. Imagine a near future in which robots have adapted to the tastes, cultural specificities, and comforts of the home, trading their shiny industrial luster in favor of floral drapes and white tile, and the droning of motors for the clangor of silverware and glasses. How did they get here? Who let them into our homes? Are they tamed?

The project explores the potential utility, ornament, and companionship that domestic robots may offer, and our future relationships with them. Staging a playful speculative scenario, the room-spanning installation Home Is Where the Droids Are imagines a reality in which autonomous objects live among us much like our pets and plants, adapting to domestic life, consumer culture, and the volatility of tastes and trends.

Presented at radialsystem is a menagerie of objects offering a glimpse into a day in the life of these droids as they adjust to the routines and habitudes of indoor living. We invite viewers to observe a living room in which the furniture is very much alive and to take a second look into our own generally optimistic, occasionally hostile—but essentially unrequited—love with technology.