Non-Place Survival
A Survival Toolkit// Product Design// Speculative design

Non-Place Survival is a group assignment together with Missy Skae, Casper Notenboom and Merel de Goede for the third year minor "Physical Computing" for Interaction Design together with Product Design students at ArtEZ. We chose Marc Auge's non-place as our starting point for a speculative environment.

Auge is a French anthropologist and the writer of Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (1995). He defines non-places as having no identity, no history and no urban relationships. They are contrary to places. They are spaces between places: temporary spaces for passage, communication and consumption like airports, train stations, bus terminals, supermarkets and hotels. According to Auge "supermodernity" has changed our perception of time, space and the way in which we interact with our surroundings. More and more we vacate towards a life lead by constant temporality turning us into modern nomads.

While thinking up a speculative environment based on the non-place, we asked ourself the following questions: As we travel from (non-)place to (non-)place and non-places will be the new places, will we still have a place to call home? How would we be able to survive living in a house designed on the basis of temporality, where choices are made for you and the only way is forward?

We designed a scale model of our non-place home which is lost of all personality. The objects and furniture have a fixed position like pens on a chain at receptions or hangers in a hotel room. Residents stand conveyer belt and live in a constant forward motion. They are deprived of the freedom of choice of when they wake up, when and what they eat and in which order. The spotlight above your head disables you from wandering through your home as you can't see far behind or in front of you.

We have designed and created a toolkit which enables you to "hack" the non-place home by extending yourself to go backwards or forwards in time. With the mirror you can reflect the spot light above your head to lighten your path or you can use it to watch television from another spot on the conveyer belt. With the knife you can cut the objects loose and with the stool you can take a break from standing. The tools are (de)mountable and exist of separate parts which can be screwed onto each other and extended.