Live at Z33 Hasselt
Reconfigurable House 2.0, built by Adam Somlai-Fischer, Ai Hasegawa, Barbara Jasinowicz, Bengt Sjölén, Gabor Papp, Tamás Szakál and Usman Haque, is open to the public at Z33, in Hasselt, Belgium and will be on display from March 16 to May 25, 2008.
Live at ICC Tokyo
Reconfigurable house is open to the public in Tokyo, Japan until March 2008 as part of NTT ICC 10th anniversary celebrations, curated by Yukiko Shikata.
Live sensor values from ICC
To build your own remote devices and environments that connect in realtime to the Reconfigurable House's sensors, the EnvironmentXML feed is here, and further information about the feeds is available here.
Click here for example realtime Processing applet (5 second refresh rate) and here for a graph of the last 24 hours of sensor/actuator activity.
Download / Make
To download the source code, save the processing files, and the arduino files. The control hardware schematics are coming. To build the actuators and sensors a good start might be to read Low Tech Sensors and Actuators for Artists and Architects. Also have a look at reorient.hu.
Reconfigurable House is shared / licenced under creative commons noncommercial, sharealike licence.
Reconfigurable House is built by Usman Haque and Adam Somlai-Fischer.
Many of the low tech elements of the House were first used in Reorient (www.reorient.hu), the Hungarian Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2006, and were partly based on a manual of Low Tech Sensors and Actuators for Artists and Architects first published in 2005 by Usman Haque and Adam Somlai-Fischer, freely available online as a PDF download.
Reorient was created by: Anna Baróthy, Balázs Bodó, Attila Bujdosó, Panni Dávidházy, Pierre Földes, Krisztián Kelner, Ida Kiss, Gergely Kovács, Melinda Matúz, Attila Nemes, Anita Pozna, Gergely Salát, Adam Somlai-Fischer, Barbara Sterk, Tamás Szakál, Samu Szemerey, Zsuzsanna Szvetelszky.
We would like to thank Hisako K. Yamakawa, Yui Ueki, Naoko Ezure, Ai Hasegawa and Georg Tremmel for their help in building the installation at ICC. And thank you to Balazs Irimiás for taking us to the fleamarket at O-i Keibajo, Tokyo!
Finally, a big thank you to Massimo Banzi for providing Arduinos for the project...
The Reconfigurable House is an environment constructed from thousands of low tech components that can be "rewired" by visitors. The project is a critique of ubiquitous computing "smart homes", which are based on the idea that technology should be invisible to prevent DIY.
Smart homes actually aren't very smart simply because they are pre-wired according to algorithms and decisions made by designers of the systems, rather than the people who occupy the houses.
In contrast to such homes, which are not able to adapt structurally over time, the many sensors and actuators of Reconfigurable House can be reconnected endlessly as people change their minds so that the House can take on completely new behaviours.
Some people may walk into the House and find that things are too noisy, too reactive, or maybe not reactive enough. Perhaps some people may prefer sound outputs, others may prefer lights. Still others may prefer the delicate feeling of mist. Each visitor will be able to use a simple interface to configure the reactions and interactions of the house in a completely different way. The
"hardware" stays the same, but visitors completely transform the "software"! In this openness, the Reconfigurable House also demonstrates authentic interaction: where the system not only reacts to visitors, but, at a higher level, also changes the way that its reaction is computed.
And if the House is left alone for too long, it gets bored, daydreams and reconfigures itself....
The house consists of walls and devices that respond to sound, light, touch, footsteps, phone calls, mp3 players and even distant remotely connected spaces. Through elements like the Cat Brick Wall, Mist Laser garden, Monkey Corridor and Radio Penguin Ceiling, constructed from hacked low tech toys and gadgets, the house can be inexpensively recreated by even those who are not experts in electronics. This means that not only is the software of the House open, but the hardware is too.
The software is constructed using open source programming language, Processing, and the electronics are controlled by Arduino, an inexpensive open source micro-controller. All code used in the project can be found on this site. People visiting the exhibition will find a phone number; when they get home, they will still be able to trigger devices in the room by calling this number. For more experienced programmers, it will be possible to connect their software, devices and websites directly to the Reconfigurable House located at ICC through the Environment XML protocol.
Actuators in the House can even be triggered remotely by telephone: dial +81 90 5338 3453 and, depending on what the occupants have decided to connect the phone to, your call will have an effect on sound, light or movement in the walls of the House!
(click to see them large)
Squirrel Net Wall
Download high resolution video (32Mb)
(click to see them large)
Cellular sound barnacles