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  • Niravkumar Patel

What is a "Home"?

There is a practical aspect about designing a House, a Housing scheme, but then there is a forgotten aspect about what actually “Home” is. In the similar relation, how Chris Ware in his novel- ‘Building Stories’ changed the pre-conceived notion of a book, by designing different chapters in different. And thus, the novel is read through different perspectives and mindsets by a reader because of its versatile format. So then question arises, does Architecture totally depend on User Experience (UX)? User Experience/Experiences can be curated but can’t be determined and design is made from curation of Experiences. User attachment with a product is either natural or pre-conceived. Similarly, it can be same for the building. How does an architect/designer consider and predict the user experience while designing a “Home”? There is a direct connection between Space making and Experience. Architectural elements and spatial qualities play a major role in creation of memories for users in a home. The personal connection and attachment to an architectural element, space or object is in direct relation to ownership and a particular use/activity. For western cultures, as soon as they turn 18, they shift to a different home and personalize their own space, while in Indian context, women shift to a completely different house after marriage. In both cases, the notion of home changes as they shift from one to another as the control on the home and space changes.

Rate of Change in terms of technology affects the design decisions. Use of gathering spaces in a home has changed overtime due to availability and privatization of social media and entertainment media. Technology plays a vital role in design decisions. Does it foster people together in a home like it used to happen earlier? A concept of “An Economic Unit” by Aristotle defines that things are made in one house and consumed by the same people living in. Long ago, people were producing and then consuming but in today’s time, production happen somewhere and then we consume. What if we don’t have kitchens, how does it make any difference? A question arises if we need kitchens? We can utilise kitchen space in houses and in a different way for a different use, have food courts nearby is one solution (Housing type in Hong-Kong). Another interesting discussion could be, what if there were no permanent houses? How would we then conceive a house? In presence, why can’t every house have used as Airbnb as public transport. All this comes to the same question of degree of attachment even if it is temporary in nature? A position should be taken then in design decisions according to the future of homes.

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