The Good Home: Hospitality, privacy & openness in the connected home

Note: This post is cross-posted from

At Fuori Salone Milan, The Good Home and Casa Jasmina teamed up for a shared workshop around hospitylity, privacy & openness in the connected home.

Workshop: Designing for Hospitality, Privacy & Openness

In it, we explored the very different the cataegories and questions to consider are, compared to a “base line” traditional non-connected home. In some cases these questions challenge very basic assumptions around what is private, what should be shared, what even constitutes relevant data?

Workshop: Designing for Hospitality, Privacy & Openness

To give you a few examples:

  • What’s private and/or personal? Photos of kids, passwords, clothes, emotional things, things that indicate political point of view, objects worth stealing, hygiene tools, passports, medicine, precious consumables like lotions etc, images from the past like teenager…
  • What gives agency or power to change the house? Tools, hardware, etc.
  • What changes through use? Learning algorithms, smart objects…
  • Moments of shared communality, for example around kitchen table
  • What shows that a person actually lives here?
  • Emergency things: Bug-out bags, panic rooms, weapons…
  • What makes you feel welcome? A comfortable space, a sofa, a spice rack…

One step further, how do these questions and considerations change if it’s a more commercial sharing arrangement (think Airbnb) vs a more personal one (friends or members of your group, friends of friends). What’s the spectrum there?

How do we define and delineate? There are no simple answers, but a lot of blurry lines. Also, as we evolve our vocabulary and language around these issues of “advanced” or connected privacy we might want to explore new metaphors aroudn both privacy and the shared rituals of communally establishing residency with people and algorithms: Barn raising, moving parties, the layout of old western mansions…

On one point that Bruce made there was agreement: IoT is perfect for unlocking granularly over time, for managing access like peeling back layers of access restrictions and inviting others deeper and deeper into our connected home and shared infrastructure.

Casa Jasmina also explores similar questions with their project Git-Commit, which was also on display in Milan.

We touched on some of these questions with Privacy Dimmer and Home Totem. We’ll keep exploring these questions in future installments of the Good Home.