For the time being our digital companions still linger in a world of phantoms – impalpable and distant.


But what will happen when digitality emerges from the screens? When our very surroundings start gushing with new forms of ‘phygital’ presence? How will we deal with this new range of synthetic encounters–  programmed and yet caring and enchanting?


By creating an atmosphere of very perceivable technological influence, the installation space “Within Touching Distance” challenges prevalent visions of a ‘smart home’ where a large number of invisible and unnoticeable services are blended into the background.


Here, visitors are invited to get to know a technological environment which communicates through its

changing spatial configuration, its immersive materiality and caressing motions. Animate curtains, each with its own characteristics respond to your moves and behavior. One whizzes past upon entrance, showing the way forward, another envelopes you as you sit on a chair, inviting a moment of privacy.


Which implications do autonomous curtains have for future architecture? Will the connected house hide its applications behind a conservative interior design? With my project I aim for a different approach: thinking technology as an integral part of the design of the home.


What if a building was smart in the way that it created various spaces around the inhabitants – spontaneous and highly fluent?


© 2018 Jonas Althaus