As part of an interdisciplinary team, titled HomeForest, we submitted the winning concept for the inaugural Davidson Prize. HomeForest addresses how the pandemic has blurred the line between home and work and draws on biophilia as a means of bringing nature into the home.
Alan Davidson Foundation
Architecture & Built Environment
Haptic Architects, Coda to Coda, LionHeart Felt and Yaoyao Meng
The theme of the 2021 Davidson Prize was ‘Home/Work – A New Future’. The inaugural prize encouraged entrants to submit thought-provoking ideas that help inform the debate about working from home. The judges looked for conceptual design ideas that respond to some of the known challenges people face while working from home. The competition also asks entrants to think carefully about how they would present their ideas to the general public.
As a team, we saw the Davidson Prize as an opportunity to bring together creative individuals from different disciplines to forge new relationships and create a unique response to the brief. We assembled a team from the worlds of physical and digital space, sound, academic research and poetry. We collectively reflected on personal experiences of working during the pandemic, and as a team chose to address the universal issues that particularly resonated with us.
Our concept, HomeForest, is a digital tool that blends the physical with the digital. It would involve creating a digital twin of the home and tapping into home technology to create a digital ecosystem that infuses wellbeing into an individual’s routine, from the sound of birdsong to a projection of a forest canopy that reminds you to take a break, or the chance to connect with someone likeminded on the network.
“Like us playing music which feeds our soul, HomeForest brings a more immersive, sensory connection to nature which I find super interesting” – Alison Brooks, Davidson Prize Judge
“Squint/Opera joined a multidisciplinary team that brought together people from architecture, digital design, sound, academic research and poetry. Collectively, we reflected on our experiences of working during the pandemic and the experiences of others through conversation, articles, podcasts and online lectures. “ – Eleanor Greenleaf, Experience Designer / Creative Producer at Squint/Opera
At its core, HomeForest would use already owned devices, such as computer or television screens and smart lighting, speakers and headphones, as part of the home’s Internet of Things. We came up with a series of additional objects, a modular HomeKit, to further enhance the experience and expand the constraints of the physical home. In combination, these objects can create unique sensory experiences to support wellbeing, nudge or entice us to take breaks, create a transition between home and work, and instil a better balance in our lives. HomeForest grows a unique ‘ecosystem’ that can be softened or intensified based on your needs.