One of the trends that came out of the trend research we have conducted over the past two months is ‘’In Control’’. In the current day and age people feel like they are losing control over multiple aspects in their lives, this loss of control creates fear. That fear leads humans to change their behaviour and attempt to regain that control. ‘’Being in control is an illusion. What happens when people are ‘’in control’’, is the replacing of the uncontrollable reality, with an illusional, virtual and controllable world’’. Due to human’s desperate need to be in control, they are willing to give up certain amounts of freedom in order to regain that control.
One of the designs that fits into this trend is the ‘’Guiding Environment’’. The Guiding Environment is a smart home helping tool, focussed on elderly who are in the early stages of developing dementia. With the help of this tool the elderly can live on their own significantly longer and aren’t as reliant on healthcare. Even with today’s knowledge on the human body and developments in medicine, humans still haven’t managed to find a cure for dementia. Anne Grave, who has studied architecture and Human/Technology interaction, explored the possibilities of a healing environment that allows patients to live independently for as long as possible.
Along with partners from various Dutch universities, Anne designed the Guiding Environment. The designated space is infused with smart sensors that constantly monitor the rhythm and actions of the patient when they are at home. They may forget to cook for themselves for an example, the smart environment will then signal the person to head over to the stove that was designed accordingly. Through sounds, visuals and smells the stove will help the patient cook their meal and guide them to their next activity.
Within the trend of ‘’In Control’’ we found underlying values like: Control, Fear, Security, Peace of Mind and Vastness. The topic of dementia seems to have a quite logical connection to most of these values. Because of the disease the patient gradually loses control over their mind, losing one's self is a fearful process. Through inventions like the guiding environment the patients can hold on to the vastness of their daily routines, allowing them stay in control and remain independent for as long as possible.
Designer: Anne Grave
In cooperation with: Liesbet Rabbinge, Toine van Lieshout, Masi Mohammadi
Partnering organisations: MKB-RAAK, Consortium De Interactieve Woonkamer
Universities involved: Smart Architectural Technologies TU Eindhoven, Architecture in Health HAN University of Applied Sciences
Seen at: Dutch Design Week, Strijp T+R, TQ6 exposition