At Modernist Studio, we focus on strategy and design work for big brands. In working with these companies, we’ve seen a theme around “owning the consumer.” Each company is fighting to become front and center in people’s lives, with a particular focus on the home.
Big companies speak about locking in customers to a technological future focused on their brand; startups in the valley identify the same goal, but couch that goal increased convenience, comfort, pleasure, or experience in the home.
We’ve also seen a trend towards a disposability of culture, one where things are delivered, used, and discarded. Coffee delivery from Keurig, ingredients delivered from Blue Apron, smoothie packs from the now defunct Juicero; our home is the centerpiece for all things garbage to show up, be used once or twice, and then disappear. We’ve arrived at a convenience economy.
And, we see a theme of fear. In the privacy of our corporate-entrenched homes, comforted by our delivery services, we lock our doors entrench, creating a sense of timidness towards interacting with the world. Our security becomes paramount, as if our way of life could be stolen from under our very noses.
The New Materialism of The Home is a discursive exploration into that future. We’ve highlighted a future that seems plausible, but unfortunate in its believability: it’s a future of technology run amok, but hiding in plain sight.