When lights turn off. Future perspectives to design smart homes

  • Matteo O. Ingaramo Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
  • Mila Stepanovic Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Keywords: smart home, ambient intelligence, ubiquitous technology, critical design approaches, prosperous futures


The Covid-19 pandemic has strongly shown the uncertainty and complexity of our lives. We are involved and we participate in questioning our consolidated life models and in the experimentation of new political and economic models, involving different actors, from the governments to the communities or virtual societies. Technologies have definitely an essential role in these transformations and global challenges aimed to change. This essay analyses the link between this general phenomenon and its particular effect on private citizens, focusing on the digitisation of spaces and, in particular, domestic spaces. Challenges and emerging situations will be highlighted through some case studies concerning smart home systems, different in terms of technology and infrastructure, methods of interaction, hardware and software, and their relationship with the design of this kind of environment. In conclusion, we will present a critical approach to complex systems of the near future, to design in a more conscious and coherent way an intelligent, human-sized and sustainable environment to live in.

Author Biographies

Matteo O. Ingaramo, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

He is an Associate Professor and Director of Master of Science in Design & Engineering at the School of Design. He is General Director of POLI.design, the Consortium of Politecnico di Milano for action research and post-graduate teaching, a Member of the Products, Services and Strategies research group and Vice President of the GDIO Global Design Industry Organisation. He focuses his research on design engineering and product integration fields.
E-mail: matteo.ingaramo@polimi.it

Mila Stepanovic, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

PhD Candidate, she focuses her research on the theories and practices of critical design, on design for conscious behaviours and on the design of technological artefacts. She is a lecturer at Poli.design, and a Teaching Tutor at the School of Design of Politecnico di Milano and has several international patents.
E-mail: mila.stepanovic@polimi.it


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Ring the Alarm (credit: voonze.com, 2021). AGATHÓN 10 | 2021
How to Cite
Ingaramo, M. O. and Stepanovic, M. (2021) “When lights turn off. Future perspectives to design smart homes”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 10(online), pp. 168-179. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/10152021.
Design | Essays & Viewpoint
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