It may not be S.A.R.A.H., but Vincente Guallart hopes his smart homes will change the world. The objects in his model Hyperhabitats glow when they are in use, while an embedded microprocessor communicates that use to the rest of the building's network. The ultimate goal is to give the physical world a structure similar to the digital one.
The Hyperhabitat is on display as part of Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition currently going on at the Arsenale. The full-scale model of a youth dwelling contains mock objects made of methacrylates and each embedded with a microprocessor. Guallart worked with MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms to create an “ambient intelligence” by linking a series of miniature computers, a network of devices that communicate with one another and can cause changes to the building's environment. For example, the lighting in a room could change based on which objects are in use and what their position is in the room. Essentially, the building becomes its own digital ecosystem based on the way humans interact with the objects inside. But Guallart's interest in creating these networks goes beyond the ecology of an individual building. He has been studying the relationship between objects, people, utilities, waste, and transportation to better understand how to create sustainable architecture and plan sustainable towns:
More connected information creates a world that is more specific, not more generic. To construct anywhere on the planet is to submit the site to structural changes, which should be the product of the emerging relationships with the place, like a geological process of saturation or erosion. The re-programming of the world occurs when a fine informational rain is capable of drenching every element on the planet, endowing it with a digital identity, enabling it to interact with other elements by means of decentralized relational protocols. In this way we create living organisms, never again inert, that react to specific geographies and mutate, where appropriate, in response to external influences.