Section: New Results

Towards Metamorphic Housing: the on-demand room

Participants : Frédéric Weis, Michele Dominici [contact] .

A concrete example of Metamorphic Housing: the on-demand room

The research activities related to the research program on Metamorphic Housing mainly focused on defining the detailed architecture and functionalities of the selected case study, the on-demand room. We conducted an iterative co-design process, involving the partners of the chair "Habitat Intelligent et Innovation”. Valuable input was also obtained by collaborating with Delta Dore, LOUSTIC, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, etc. The result was the identification of the needs of end users, building owners and managers with respect to the on-demand room. To satisfy these requirements, we proposed a system architecture, combining computer and mobile applications with domotic equipments and novel interaction means for end users.

These are inspired by the Pervasive Computing and Interactive Architecture principles, where a continuous and implicit interaction between occupants and the physical world is made possible by augmented architectural structures, which sense the natural actions of people and respond accordingly. In this way, the occupants of the dwellings equipped with on-demand room experience a new form of housing, stimulating social interactions between neighbors and satisfying periodic needs of additional housing surface, as we illustrated in [4]. We submitted our system architecture, novel interaction means and augmented structure designs to the industrial property services of Inria and University of Rennes 1, which are currently evaluating the possibility of establishing patent protection on these inventions.

Experimentation of Metamorphic Housing on social housing

We helped Néotoa, a social landlord, preparing and initiating an experimentation of the on-demand room on one of their residential buildings. For this, we built and coordinated a consortium of partners working on the project: Veolia, CCI Rennes, Cardinal Edifice, Rennes Métropole, Néotoa, Delta Dore, LOUSTIC, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, MobBI platform (University of Rennes 1), Inria, Institut de Gestion de Rennes. We took a user-centered approach to the problem, studying it from several points of view and mobilizing several disciplines: psychology and ergonomics (LOUSTIC), sociology (Université de Bretagne Occidentale), marketing (Institut de Gestion de Rennes). We conducted user interviews, initially leveraging the demonstrator of the on-demand room that we previously built via the Immersia virtual reality platform. Then, we ran on-line inquiries to reach a larger audience. We took into account the lessons that we learned in the design and development of a computing and domotic system, leveraging the expertise of valuable partners (Delta Dore, MobBI platform, Inria), as detailed in section 5.3.