Architecture and Art & Design faculty collaborate on smart tech THR_33, displayed at Kyoto Japan's National Museum of Modern Art

THR_33 (Tea House for Robots) by rootoftwo and PLY Architecture will be shown in the exhibition:

Trouble in Paradise/The Ethics of Survival
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan. Friday, July 9 – Sunday, August 22, 2010.

The exhibit is part of the International Symposium: Creative Engagement/The Ethics of Survival hosted by the Museum: July 10, 2010 Part 1: Life/Environment/Art and July 31, 2010 Part 2: Space/Health Care/Art.

THR_33 imagines all this and proposes that as our appliances become smart we will change the way we live and come to think of them. Perhaps we would cherish these products more than the throwaway gadgets we currently create. In our speculative future, appliances have evolved to become part of the family.

THR_33 questions how we will relate to these autonomous and responsive environments and appliances. THR_33 mixes the sophistication of contemporary smart and super phones, with the design aesthetic of iconic industrial products to produce appliances we want to live with. Domestic space will also change to regulate temperature, lighting and produce and store all its inhabitants’ energy needs. These power stations can form a dual purpose – providing power and space for the robots and their owners to interact and play.

The ‘Tea House’ Structure conforms to the traditional dimensions of a Japanese Tea House of 9′ x 9′ x 6′, the space provides a series of interactions between user and space, space and robots.

The ‘Robots’ (TST_003, RDO_002, and MXR_011) all have unique traits, behaviors and interactions. The interactions move between user and object, object and space. TST_003 is a toaster. RDO_002 is a radio and MXR_011 is a stand mixer. They all have been reconceived as sense-enabled robots with speculative features. For more about the exhibit:

The faculty involved with the project:

PLY Architecture (Karl Daubmann and Craig Borum, associate professors)
rootoftwo (John Marshall and Cezanne Charles) Marshall has a joint appointment at Taubman College and Art & Design.

The project is made possible by:

The Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan.
The School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.
With help from Osman Khan, Chris Johnson, Westley Burger and Robert Yuen.

DeZeen, Design Magazine’s blog covered the exhibit. To read more