Everyday Experiments: Collaborative Futures
Film still — Bakken & Bæck
How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home?
We went on a journey to find out.
Everyday Experiments is a series of digital experiments developed in collaboration with IKEA and SPACE10, exploring ways to enhance our interactions with space and improve our everyday lives. The result is an array of clever ideas, radical proposals and exciting fictional prototypes, which each challenge the role of technology in the home.
Everyday Experiments is a manifestation of one of our core beliefs at SPACE10 — that innovation should be an open and collaborative process. Over the past two years, we’ve partnered with some of the most innovative design and technology studios in the world. More than 120 people from 22 international studios considered:
How can we work with emerging technologies to improve everyday life at home?
The result is more than 40 experiments that playfully explore how emerging technologies like augmented reality, spatial audio, Internet of Things, and blockchain might deconstruct and reconstruct notions of life at home.
‘Everyday Experiments is not just a bank of good ideas,’ says Georgina McDonald, who leads Everyday Experiments at SPACE10.
‘It is an opportunity for high-performing designers and technologists from around the world, to openly, freely and collectively contemplate a future we’d all like to live in.
‘A future where technology works with us, not against us. Where technology is seamless, playful, helpful, and just works. A future where advancements in technologies create hope. Experiences that truly enable all individuals to live an easier, healthier, and more sustainable way of living, at home, with technology.’
Our new short film, Everyday Experiments: Collaborative Futures, is a five-minute manifesto celebrating the partners, methodologies and processes behind Everyday Experiments. It demonstrates how sharing ideas openly, collaboratively and quickly is key to achieving democracy in the advancement of new home technologies.
Video — Bakken & Baeck
Seeing design problems in a new light
Life at home is constantly changing. And so is the technology that lives with us.
When we launched Everyday Experiments in 2020, we were seeking a space to imagine and experiment with how we could make life at home that little bit better. A space to be curious as we grapple with the complexity of ideas at the intersection of people, home and technology. And to act as a playful testing ground for studios to break traditional boundaries, pursue exciting collaborations, and find new methodologies.
Along the way, we challenged the way we think about safety and security at home. And asked questions like: What if you had a companion to help you navigate the complexities of the digital world? And what if the objects you own could share their entire history with you?
Many of our partners sought to acknowledge and highlight the shifts in our living habits and patterns, and the evolution in the meaning of home. We looked beyond how technology might improve efficiency in the home, to explore privacy and circularity — and how we might make these interventions playful.
These experiments engaged and tested advanced technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, spatial mapping, 3D reconstruction, object detection, machine learning, and natural language processing, to name a few.
‘Everyday Experiments gives you the freedom to build something that doesn’t need to work in production, but isn’t too far from being achievable. It no longer feels disconnected from people’s real needs.’
Bakken & Bæck, Everyday Experiments partner
To help us imagine new ways of living, our methodology was key. Working collaboratively and transparently means we can fast-track ideation and visualisation. Then by sharing the designs openly and welcoming public discussion and discourse, we can both iterate quickly and invite others to adapt or build upon our starting points.
‘Everyday Experiments contradicts the approach to innovation that involves inflated budgets, competition and secrecy, favouring instead an open and collaborative ideology,’ says SPACE10’s Ryan Sherman.
This is how we can achieve democracy in the advancement of new home technologies, and in design futures. By bringing together plural perspectives, visions, and skill sets from around the world, Everyday Experiments approaches technology and the home in myriad ways.
‘Collaboration is all about perspectives,’ says creative director and digital artist Christie Morgan, who we partnered with on Forever Meadow. ‘The more minds you add to the idea, the more perspectives you gain, and the more empathetic the process.’
Active speculative futures
Everyday Experiments is part of a wider framework at SPACE10 investigating technology and the home. Throughout all of our research, interviews, prototyping, exhibitions and residencies to date, we’ve learned the home is much more than a place to cook, relax and sleep.
The home of the future is likely multigenerational. It will need to support imaginative, energetic kids, be a space of care and well-being for older people, and be a place of work, learning and leisure. It is fluid and evolving, and we believe technology can help us to meet those future needs while making the everyday life of the many a little more healthy, calm, and frictionless.
Imagining possible futures through speculative design and emerging technologies means we not only create an aspirational north star but close the imagination gap, enabling people to consider a future life at home with technology, in spaces that are more intuitive, playful and interactive.
‘It’s important to look forward in an active way because everything that becomes real is something that was once speculative in the past,’ says game developer and creative technologist Nicole He, who we partnered with to create the experiment, Invisible Roommates.
After two years of experimentation and digital proposals, we’re reflecting on how the array of surprising and hopeful responses from our partners has challenged our often preconceived approaches and methodologies to technological futures.
How can we keep working together to build these future realities?
Bakken & Bæck is a technology-driven design studio. Building digital products, brands and businesses, they help ambitious companies identify, explore and respond to new opportunities.
Iris Cuppen is a Rotterdam-based writer and researcher, currently working as a partner at Bakken & Bæck and a design theory lecturer at AKV St. Joost.
Christie Morgan is a London-based creative director, designer and digital artist, and was previously the founder of PITCH STUDIOS — a hybrid art/design studio with a deep interest in visual futures, digital and internet culture, web3 + phygital spaces. Morgan often uses her practice as an attempt to contextualise the fragmented, phygital world we participate in. She is a visiting lecturer at the London College of Fashion.
Nicole He is an independent game developer and creative technologist based in Brooklyn, New York. She previously worked as a creative technologist at Google Creative Lab and an outreach lead at Kickstarter, and is an adjunct faculty member at ITP at NYU.
Georgina McDonald heads up Everyday Experiments, a series of digital experiments by SPACE10 and IKEA, exploring ways to enhance our interactions with space and improve our everyday lives.
Ryan Sherman is a creative director exploring the intersection of design, storytelling and speculative futures. He works with creative and strategy at SPACE10.