Designing Future Ubiquitous Homes with OUI Interiors: Possibilities and Challenges

Sara Nabil, David S. Kirk, Thomas Ploetz, Peter Wright 

pp. 28 - 37, download



As our living environments, homes should be expected to house objects with which we are comfortable. This applies equally to the technology we introduce to our domestic environments: it should be blended or embedded within them, or at least intuitive and unobtrusive in the space. In this paper, we survey a number of the latest Organic User Interfaces (OUIs) and discuss how these novel designs can be adopted to help build future domestic smart environments. In this sense, interior spaces, surfaces (walls, floors, tables and ceilings), and interior objects such as furniture and decorative accessories can become computationally-driven interactive artefacts, potentially changing their physical appearances, i.e., shape, colour, pattern or texture. We believe that Human-Building Interaction (HBI) will soon evolve to develop and employ OUIs in domestic environments, dynamically supporting our personal preferences and enhancing our living experiences. We propose some of the potential benefits of ‘OUI Interiors’ such as employing familiar intuitive interactions, supporting psychological and physiological wellbeing of inhabitants and the opportunity of designing multifaceted aesthetic interiors. Moreover, we highlight some of the challenges to building interactive interior objects, furniture and accessories, such as supporting sustained user engagements over time and designing for daily use within domestic environments with all its social, ethical and behavioural implications. 


Keywords: Organic User Interfaces, Ubiquitous computing, Human-Building Interaction, Interactive Architecture, Radical Atoms, interactive furniture, soft electronics, slow technology, Internet of Things (IoT).


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