Phygital House, a new definition of a house as an integral part of a dimension in which physical and digital, together, are transforming environments into spaces traversed by flows of relationships and information, thanks in part to a constantly increasing state of connectivity. Not only environments, but also objects, from furnishings to household appliances, are becoming bridges between the physical and digital world, making the management of living more “intelligent” and faster.
Phygital House encompasses three micro-trends: in the first, Instant Need Design, devices, appliances and furnishing elements are designed to provide an instant response to people’s needs. And there is no shortage of examples: Lift-Bit, a system of modular hexagonal stools, designed by Carlo Ratti Associati in collaboration with Vitra, which changes configuration with a simple hand movement (or by remote control) to respond to various needs, instantly becoming a chair, armchair, sofa or bed; June Intelligent Oven, which meets the immediate demands of contemporary life, cooking instead of us and showing it to us via live streaming; and the Beddi Intelligent Alarm Clock, a kind of digital butler which, while we are still in bed, organizes the way we wake up with all the information and functionality that we need.
The Smart Objects microtrend is also centred around intelligent connectivity, which can improve the quality of domestic life with futuristic devices that create an ideal habitat for living, resting and working, designed with an awareness of today’s sustainability requirements.
One example is Lucy, by Italian startup Solenica, a heliostat mirror mounted in a transparent sphere that moves following the movement of the sun and lights up the shaded parts of the house in an environmentally friendly manner.
Finally, there is Augmented Design, in which new digital features increase the performance of furniture and fittings, which learn to communicate and connect with technological devices in a sort of super-design. As in the case of FurniQi, a versatile bamboo table which, thanks to a wi-fi interface concealed inside, can recharge smartphones, tablets and other devices simply by placing them on top.