The Futures of… The Disappearing Home


Context:

  • 2008
  • For Scott Hartop at Appleyards Ltd.
  • With James King
  • Concept, design and development of a series of round table debates on the futures of… housing, transport, energy, etc.

Methods & Deliverables:

  • Concept
  • Design and production of process tool ‘Whiteboard Tabletops’
  • Creation of ‘The Disappearing Home’ story provocation and its physical process materials
  • Delivery and documentation of first workshop
  • Choice of ‘place’, the Churchill War Rooms in London

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A format for a debate series on different topics of future relevance was designed by James King and me in 2008. The idea was to develop a portable and iconic work tool which would host debates on topics of transport, housing, energy, family, health, etc.

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The Workshop and its Materials

We turned the ‘table’ into this portable working tool: Framed boards with whiteboard surfaces, wood surfaces, magnetic surfaces etc. were layered on top of each other.

They became the ’round table’ and working space, a place for discussion and idea development and work with materials.

By taking off tabletop by tabletop throughout the debate, the day was choreographed: Each table top revealed the next topic and material up until the last, wooden table top, on which commitments to action were ‘sealed’ by signature.


The first ‘Futures Of…’ debate took place at the Churchill War Rooms in London and was called the ‘Futures Of… The Disappearing Home’ a debate on how we want to shape our future urban environment.

The story that James and I designed as a provocation for the debate was called ‘The Disappearing Home’. A scenario of a future where affluent families decide to give up their homes in order to be more mobile and save money on their mortgages.

These families temporarily rent hotel rooms and restaurant tables, have an intelligent urban wardrobe and keep track of eachother via GPS and tagging. – Is this an idea we like? What does a ‘home’ actually mean and stand for? Into what will our urban lives change and develop?

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