shelter, or dwelling?

In the Netherlands some 40.000 (registered) people are homeless; in all of Europe it is some 4 million. A recent initiative in the city of Ulm, Germany shows a ‘sleeping pod’ as a solution for shelter, complete with solar panels, electricity and a connection to a network. In the technical sense this is nothing new; see the wide variety of innovative projects devoted to elementary shelters over the decades. Of course: the need for protective measures in winter is urgent, the question that remains is whether this is a structural or temporal solution. After all, the ‘inhabitant’ still is excluded from society; while a more permanent place to dwell (as is a legal right) is far more necessary. Ultimately the focus should be on a real integrated ‘place’ within larger scales, i.e. as part of an environment that includes space for shelter, be it temporary or more permanent. So; reserve a certain amount of space within each housing project to function as ‘free space’ when needed, as part of the community.

Future Emerging Technologies

FET31012017January 31st.; the FET-Observe workshop in Brussels, organized and guided by Philine Warnke and Elna Schirrmeister from Fraunhofer Institute. Some 20 researchers from e.g. computing, art, media, design discussed a series of possible/wishful future technologies within a wide range of topics, including ‘Future Living Spaces’, with the aim to frame topics that  need further focused research and funding. Wonderful to experience a critical but constructive discussion from a variety of disciplines as well as a somewhat out-of-line thinking against many current developments.