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How Wearable Technology Will Change Building Occupants

Image Credit: © mjaud | Fotolia

Technology is moving into the wearable realm — where it will be built into the things we wear like glasses, watches, clothes, and shoes. And this brings with it many advantages like anywhere information that is presented at just the right moment. Greater personalization will also emerge as such worn-devices target their user’s preferences, habits, and behaviors. All of these advantages of wearable technology will change your building occupant. They will be more informed, more self-aware, and more connected. In fact, they will even connect to their surrounding environments in new ways.

The key is for the architecture to make sense of new occupant interactions. As their wearables help them to live healthier and happier lifestyles — the architecture should do the same. In other words, architecture and wearable technology should work together to help occupants reach their goals.

In the article entitled 3 Ways to Make Wearable Tech Actually Wearable, it is stated that such technologies need to be both meaningful and beautiful for the user. (1) This is interesting, as beauty ties into personalization — where the technology becomes an extension of the user, and must express their style or “sense of beauty”. Also, the information that such wearables express to their user must be of value, having direct meaning for them in their life. Both meaning and beauty must exude from such technologies (unless they are hidden), and as they extend their reach into their surrounding environment — meaning and beauty should reflect as well.

Thus, designing architecture for occupants that use wearable technology means that your architecture will gain vocabulary by which to communicate with occupants. The key is to understand what information to extract from wearables, as well as to know which information to send to them. Just as many technologies will be connected, so too will the architecture. Thus, it will be up to the designer to coordinate engagement, interaction, and change.

Reference:

(1) Darmour, Jennifer. 3 Ways to Make Wearable Tech Actually Wearable. Fast Company.

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what members are saying...
Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

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