A few months ago I was carrying out a project which has not result yet with Diego @soroa (Cuantics Creatives), but the speculative stage was really fruitful. One of the most interesting ideas was the usb home.
We start with a possible scenario in which the ownership of physical objects was diluted and instead what we hold was a service. This idea comes from observing what is happening in the recording and publishing industries. We are witnessing a transfer of information from physical to virtual platforms, which inevitably leads to the disappearance of the object. This is very simple in the case of albums or books because the information they contain is digital (music), or easily to digitize (text). We have already seen when this information becomes digitized and fed into the network, how to be managed, sold, shared … change radically. We start to understand selling information as a service rather than as an object, for example Spotify with music.
Can be a similar process in relation with housing?
For this to happen we should have the following condition: most of the elements that figure in the house should be capable being digitized, so they become part of the network. And at the same time they can return to materialize.
Leaving this condition in the air there is an interesting example of a car rental company with its own application for iPhone, Zipcar. What the service offer is not a standard rental, but a monthly fee that allows you to pick up directly the nearest free car. Through the application you can locate the car, open it and start running, catch it directly. So, you don´t possess a car but a service.
It would be possible to develop a similar system with the house and even go a step further for that house you rent, where you can feel like home and not an aseptic hotel without the comforts of home. In the future we could have the most important elements of our house digitized and stored in a USB. Using the GPS we will look for an available place where we are interested on (there still would be something tangible, a kind of infrastructure where we can insert the usb, which would supply us all strictly physical and necessary elements), then we will insert the memory and in seconds it would be our home.
It is already possible to digitize most of these elements, but how to re-materialize?
+ Paintings, colors, pictures, lighting, views – Augmented reality.
+ Lamps, chairs, tables, sofas, partitions walls – 3D Printer -Hyperhabitat by Vicente Guallart
+ Facilities, structure, roof, facade - 3D printer in concrete.
There is one coincidence; yesterday I read an article in Wired which explains the positive of Americans that they stop having housing property: Abandon ownership! Join the rentership society.
“In the American mind, renters are regarded as an unsavory lot, willful dissidents from the American dream. They do things like put cars up on cinder blocks in their front yard or, worse, live in your basement. The vision of an Ownership Society was about more than just houses, but the promotion of homeownership was, for a time at least, its most successful element. You know the story by now: The rate of homeownership climbed to almost 70 percent, sellers walked out of closings trundling wheelbarrows full of cash, and the phrase “granite countertops” seemed to hold as much promise as “plastics” did in The Graduate. Then it all fell apart. We woke up in a Rentership Society, and it’s starting to look permanent. And you know what? Thank goodness…”