[1] Woodruff, A.

,
K. Anderson, S. D.
Mainwaring, and R.
Aipperspach. “Portable,
But Not Mobile: A
Study of Wireless
Laptops in the Home.”
In Pervasive Computing
5th International
Conference, Pervasive
2007, Toronto, Canada,
May 13-16, 2007, edited
by A. LaMarca, M.
Langheinrich, and K. N.
Truong, 216-233. New
York: Springer, 2007.
[2] Ahrentzen, S.
“Choice in Housing.”
Harvard Design
Magazine 8 (summer
1999): 1-6.
[3] Hanson, J.
and B. Hiller. “Two
Domestic ‘Space
Codes’ Compared.”
In Decoding Homes
and Houses, 109-133.
Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2003.
[4] Gallagher, W. House
Thinking. New York:
Harper Collins, 2006.
[5] Brown, B. and
L. Barkhuus. “The
Television will be
Revolutionized: Effects
of PVRs and Filesharing
on Television Watching.”
In the Proceedings of
CHI 2006, 663-666.
New York: ACM Press,
2006.
[6] Ritzer, G. The
McDonaldization of
Society. Thousand
Oaks, CA: Pine Forge
Press, 1993.
[7] Kaplan, R. and
S. Kaplan. The
Experience of Nature:
A Psychological
Perspective.
Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1989.
[8] Tabor, P. “Striking
Home: The Telematic
Assault on Identity.”
In J. Hill’s Occupying
Architecture. London:
Routledge, 1998.
In the course of conducting
researcl or domes¹ic liíe [l|,
we have visited and conducted
observations in a number
oí U.S. lomes. Vi¹lir ¹lese
lomes, ve lave oí¹er observed
a cer¹air lomogerei¹y, a ¹er-
dency toward similarity in
place and experience. Our
sense of a sometimes uniform
and undifferentiated domestic
environment resonates with
observations made by others as
vell. !or example, ¹le moderr
housing landscape has been
critiqued as offering limited
variation in internal form and
structure compared with the
diversity of household popula-
¹iors [2, 3|. Homes vi¹l uriíorm
cors¹ruc¹ior, ceilirg leigl¹,
and lighting are symptomatic of
designs that deal with economic
constraints by being larger and
urdiííerer¹ia¹ed, ra¹ler ¹lar
smaller but more differentiated
[4|. Addi¹iorally, íurdamer¹al
domes¹ic iríras¹ruc¹ure, sucl
as central heating and cooling
systems that deliver a consis-
tent climate throughout the
lome, reiríorces ¹le assump-
tion that the domestic environ-
ment should be consistent and
homogeneous.
Even in spatially complex
lomes, pervasive ¹eclrology
often provides access to the
same "vir¹ual ervirormer¹"
¹lrouglou¹ ¹le lome, crea¹irg
a homogeneous environment
as viewed through the screen.
Televisions playing in multiple
rooms can create similar land-
scapes throughout the home.
!ur¹ler, devices sucl as ¹ime-
shifting television recorders
can subtly homogenize the
experience of time by reducing
the salience of external tem-
poral structures such as net-
vorl ¹elevisior scledules [S|.
"Ary¹ime, aryvlere" re¹vorls
and devices such as cellular
and smart phones can also blur
bourdaries be¹veer vorl ard
lome, as vell as bourdaries
within the home. Laptops and
FDAs correc¹ed virelessly ¹o
the office may be placed on a
bedside ¹able, providirg access
¹o vorl la¹e a¹ rigl¹, ard íor
mary people, ¹le experierce oí
¹ruly "comirg lome írom vorl"
is a rare one.
Increased homogeneity in the
domestic environment plainly
offers attractions such as con-
verierce. !or example, uriíorm
access ¹o da¹a ard re¹vorl
services offers residents the
handy ability to compute in any
room in the home and to be near
family members while they are
vorlirg. Hovever, ¹lis is a dou-
ble-edged svord, resora¹irg vi¹l
corcerrs oí McDoraldiza¹ior
the process by which modern
socie¹y ¹ales or ¹le clarac¹eris-
tics of a fast-food restaurant [6].
Vlile s¹ardardized ard uriíorm
services are convenient and
seduc¹ive, ¹ley are also oí¹er
associated with limited varia-
tion and reduced quality. These
issues resonate with our own
ir¹ui¹ior, based or our experi-
ence with design and observa-
¹ior, ¹la¹ lomogerei¹y is oí¹er
associated with a less fulfilling
domestic experience.
!irdirgs írom ervirormer-
tal psychology and restorative
environment theory also suggest
potential disadvantages of homo-
geneous home environments
[¯|. Res¹ora¹ive ervirormer¹s
are important for reducing
mental fatigue resulting from
stressful situations or intense
¹lougl¹, ard irspec¹ior oí ¹le
characteristics of restorative
environments suggests that
homogeneous domestic environ-
ments may not be sufficiently
res¹ora¹ive. As Tabor vri¹es,
digi¹al screers are "sleepless,
íidge¹y, ard demardirg [8|." Tley
"discourage ¹la¹ mer¹al s¹a¹e oí
s¹ill colererceaclieved vler
ve s¹are ir¹o a ílame, gaze idly
from a window or watch shad-
ovs lerg¹lervlicl rebuilds
¹le selí."
The Heterogeneous Home
Ryan Aipperspach
GoodGuide.com | ryanaip@alumni.rice.edu
Ben Hooker
Art Center College of Design | ben.hooker@gmail.com
Allison Woodruff
Intel Research Berkeley | woodruff@acm.org
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FEATURE
[9] Woodruff, A., J.
Hasbrouck, and S.
Augustin. “A Bright
Green Perspective on
Sustainable Choices.”
In the Proceedings of
CHI 2008, 313-322. New
York: ACM Press, 2008.
[10] Woodruff, A., S.
Augustin, and B. E.
Foucault. “Sabbath Day
Home Automation: ‘It’s
Like Mixing Technology
and Religion.’” In the
Proceedings of CHI
2007, 527-536. New
York: ACM Press, 2007
In contrast with more homo-
gereous ervirormer¹s, ve also
sometimes noticed interesting
variation within the homes we
s¹udied. !or example, sus¹airable
"greer lomes" desigred ¹o ¹ale
advantage of sun and wind for
heating and cooling have strong
temporal variation based on nat-
ural íorces [9|. As aro¹ler exam-
ple, mary [evisl louselolds use
technology to help them observe
¹le Sabba¹l as a day oí res¹,
providing a completely different
experience from the rest of the
veel [l0|. Vlile ¹lese varia¹iors
are associated with specialized
purposes, ¹ley irspired us ¹o
consider how other consciously
designed variations might mani-
fest themselves in homes for the
broader population.
Based or ¹lese observa¹iors,
we introduce the concept of the
"le¹erogereous lome," a diverse
and dynamic domestic environ-
ment. In this vision we explore
the interaction between technol-
ogy and architecture in the home
and consider how the two can i
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be jointly designed to create a
rich environment that suits the
complexities and variety of life in
¹le lome. lr so doirg, ve lope ¹o
articulate new design opportuni-
¹ies, as vell as ¹o ercourage cri¹i-
cal reflection on existing trends
and assumptions.
To demonstrate that this het-
erogereous lome íramevorl
offers a fertile design space for
a wide variety of new objects
ard ervirormer¹s, ve crea¹ed a
desigr sle¹clbool. lr spiri¹, our
eííor¹s are similar ¹o vorl sucl
as Gaver ard Mar¹ir's vorlbool
of inspirational design propos-
als to explore the design space
of information appliances [11].
Tle sle¹cles ve developed are
not necessarily literal design
proposals, bu¹ ra¹ler are
intended to engage the reader
with ideas ranging from highly
speculative concepts to humor-
ous suggestions to very simple
product ideas.
To generate the design
sle¹cles, ve ergaged ir a col-
laborative dialogue with each
[11] Gaver, W. and H.
Martin. “Alternatives:
Exploring Information
Appliances through
Conceptual Design
Proposals.” In the
Proceedings of CHI
2000, 209-216. New
York: ACM Press, 2000.
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and health impact information about every-
day products. Ryan holds a B.S. in comput-
er science from Rice University and an M.S.
in computer science from the University of
California, Berkeley.
Ben Hooker is an artist and
designer, and a faculty
member in the media
design program at the Art
Center College of Design.
Although his background is
in screen-based multimedia design, for the
past few years most of his projects have
centered on collaborations with architects,
industrial designers, and computer scien-
tists working in the field of human computer
interaction. The result of these collabora-
tions is a body of work that explores the
consequences of intangible computer-gen-
erated “data landscapes” merging with
real, physical spaces. He has a B.Sc. in
electronic imaging and media communica-
tions and an M.A. in computer-related
design from the Royal College of Art.
Allison Woodruff is a
researcher at Intel
Research Berkeley. Her pri-
mary interests include envi-
ronmentally sustainable
technologies, technology
for domestic environments, mobile and
communication technologies, and ubiqui-
tous computing. Prior to joining Intel, She
worked as a researcher at PARC from 1998
to 2004. She holds a B.A. in English from
California State University, Chico; an M.S.
in computer science, and an M.A. in lin-
guistics from the University of California,
Davis; and a Ph.D. in computer science
from the University of California, Berkeley.
DOI: 10.1145/1456202.1456211
© 2009 ACM 1072-5220/09/0100 $5.00
o¹ler, dravirg irspira¹ior írom
our ovr baclgrourds ir com-
pu¹er scierce, desigr, arcli¹ec-
¹ure, ard quali¹a¹ive researcl,
as well as incorporating our
own analysis of existing com-
mercial products and research
corcep¹s ard pro¹o¹ypes. Ve
also considered properties of
restorative environments in
gerera¹irg desigr sle¹cles. !or
example, ervirormer¹s ¹la¹
provide a serse oí "beirg avay"
are refreshing and reduce men-
¹al ía¹igue [¯|, so ve explored
mechanisms that support sepa-
ra¹ior be¹veer vorl ard lome.
As aro¹ler example, erviror-
ments with fascinating patterns
¹la¹ eííor¹lessly lold ore's
attention are also restorative
[¯|, so ve explored desigrs ¹la¹
expose engaging patterns.
Baclelard vri¹es, "Ve lave
our cottage moments and our
palace momer¹s [l2|." Ve also
lave our vorlirg momer¹s
ard our relaxirg momer¹s, our
public moments and our inti-
ma¹e momer¹s, ard our ac¹ive
moments and our reflective
moments. It is important to
support clear differentiation of
such diverse experiences in the
lome vlile also aclrovledg-
ing the complexities of domestic
life that tie these experiences
¹oge¹ler. lr ¹lis vorl ve lave
sought to explore these issues
lolis¹ically, corsiderirg lov dií-
ferent aspects of the home such
as architecture and technology
can be jointly designed to create
a dynamic and rich environ-
ment. The solutions we propose
highlight opportunities to design
for variety and suggest a range
of technologies and spaces that
migl¹ male up ¹le le¹eroge-
neous home.
Acknowledgments
We are grateful to environmental
psychologist Sally Augustin for
introducing us to restorative envi-
ronment theory and for providing
valuable feedback on this work. We
also thank Paul Aoki, John Canny,
and Shona Kitchen for helpful discus-
sions. Ryan Aipperspach performed
this work as a graduate student
at the University of California,
Berkeley. Ben Hooker performed this
work as a visiting researcher at Intel
Research Berkeley.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Ryan Aipperspach is on
leave from the University of
California, Berkeley, where
he studied at the Berkeley
Institute of Design. There
his focus was on studying and develop-
ing portable domestic technologies. He
is currently the user experience lead at
GoodGuide.com, a website to help people
find safe, healthy, and green products by
providing credible social, environmental,
[12] Bachelard, G.
The Poetics of Space.
Boston: Beacon Press,
1969.
The complete sketchbook is available at: http://interactions.acm.org/content/XVI/hooker.pdf
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The Need For Companies To Change Their Ways

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