So often, new technology is described as a great “divider” that separates people from each other, and even from their own healthy activities. For instance, children today are said to spend too much time with technology, and not enough time running, playing, and using their creativity or imaginations. But is it all technology’s fault? Does it truly divide us from what we should cherish most?
In an age where communication occurs in real-time, architectural technology design is critical to get right. When designed well, technology integrated into environments can actually “unite” people with each other and with the healthy activities which are best for them and that they enjoy most. In this case, architectural technology becomes a “connector” where new interactions become possible between people, and for people.
For instance, in the following video you can see a very creative use of architectural technology design integrated into urban areas. By creating a digital portal that connects people from one long-distance place with another – paradigms shift, communication changes and positive emotions surface. Simply watch the following video to see this architectural technology design inaction.
Within your own architectural design projects, be sure to consider technology for all that it has to offer. By using your imagination, you can use technology’s features to your advantage – and your design can hone this value. For instance, if at times technology does “divide”, then how can this division be used to fuel health for its user? Might time they spend with the technology and away from others be used for the good of one’s health? For example, an architectural technology design can trigger healthy and desirable exercise in its user.
Conversely, you can also use technology for its power to “connect”. Your architectural technology design can unite people in new ways, not just by presenting them with a new interface design, but also by strategically playing that interface design off of the surrounding context (as the design example shown in the video above).
Since architectural technology design can divide and unite its users depending on how it is integrated into an environment – it is important that you as an architect become aware of both of these effects. Ask yourself questions as you design, such as:
In other words, watch what happens when your occupants use the technologies integrated in your architecture. Do occupants feel isolated and withdrawn? Or do they feel filled with a sense of community and purpose? Are the motivated to help each other or to help themselves? Or are they simply using technology in a “lazy” manner?
For example, does a wall integrated with a technology interface divide or connect its two adjacent rooms? How might this tech-wall allow these two rooms to interconnect in ways they could not before? And how do these interconnection effects impact the occupants within these rooms? Does the tech-wall interface limit them? Or does it empower them and help them thrive in new ways?
To help you get to the core of your own design project challenge: simply ask yourself if your architectural technology design prompts your occupants toward positive behaviors, or if it merely presents limitations that restrict healthy behaviors. The answer to this question will give you necessary insight toward pointing you on the right path.
Image Credit: © designer491 | Fotolia
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