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The future of home furnishing

With a focus on the body and technology

SICS Swedish ICT and IKEA have established a partnership in order to explore applications for digital technology in the home. For some time now, SICS has been engaged in developing a method for examining the aesthetic and experiential possibilities of digital technology.

The method involves playfully exploring and deepening physical and aesthetic experiences. The technique is used in combination with other approaches to address the question: What additional experiences can be brought into the design process using the opportunities afforded by new material?

“Digital technology is a creative material,” says Kristina Höök, professor at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) and researcher at SICS. “In the same way that wood is used to build various objects, we can use digital technology to open new possibilities for making furniture more comfortable, interesting, interactive and informative - or simply more fun.”

In 2014, two SICS researchers and a designer from Boris Design Studio used these methods with IKEA’s product development team at IKEA of Sweden in Älmult, and developed concepts and scenarios for future products for the home. The next step is to examine what the Internet of Things could mean for the home. What opportunities become available when communication technology is built into all of the objects and environments in a household?

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