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“Just-in-Time” Interactive Surface Design Can Help Your Building (Video)

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

Image Credit: © samuelbausson | Flickr

Buildings are much more than a surrounding envelope which merely exists in a state separated from its occupants and their objects and tools. Instead, buildings are part of the landscape which helps occupants to live better. And now, with more sensory technologies, architecture can connect anew with occupants to greatly uplift their lifestyle… through their objects and tools that they use everyday.

Much of this is done by making interactive surface design within your building highly effective.

Many times, people think of sensing technologies within architecture as a way for the building to pick up all kinds of cues from just the occupants, but that is only one part of how a building can read or interpret the language and context of what is happening within it. In fact, a key way for a building’s systems to engage with occupant behaviors is by sensing cues from an occupant’s objects — like a bottle of medicine that might need to be refilled or random food from the kitchen that might be calling for a good recipe so it doesn’t go to waste.

Such is the challenge being worked on by Intel when developing Oasis, an interactive surface design technology that can be used in many places throughout a home, or for any building type should the need arise. Really, it can work on a simple premise: as objects and their respective movements occur, sensory technologies gather data and respond according to what it deems might be helpful to that occupant’s habits, trying to assist them is a multitude of ways.

A Step Towards “Just-in-Time” Architectural Response

As an architect, how might you begin to go beyond simply recording your occupants information as they experience your design, to fully pulling and making sense of that information in a way that can help occupants at just the right time? For, if a building system can respond to an occupant’s needs at just the right moment (when they need it most), then that design has a great chance of positively impacting and uplifting their lifestyle for the better — helping them to live healthier, happier and with greater ease.

To give you a better idea of what I am talking about, take a look at the following video which shows Intel’s innovative approach called Oasis which takes a step in the right direction. Not only does it recognize objects and gestures, but it also turns a surface into a way of responding to an occupant and their behaviors. Take a look:

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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.

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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 multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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