The Virginia Tech FutureHAUS™ is a revolutionary prototype for the home of the future, offering a stunning preview of how digital technologies, cutting-edge products, and smart building design will unite to make our homes more responsive to our future needs and way of living. Architecture Professor Joe Wheeler guided a team of students and faculty to create a functioning prototype for the home of the future. Additionally, the group has been working with Industry partners, such as Kohler, Microsoft, and Corning to integrate and develop new technologies. I assisted the FutureHAUS team at Virginia Tech on several aspects of this project, which I will detail below. I also presented my research, in the context of The Designer of 2025 theme, at the 2017 AIGA Design conference in Minneapolis.
I worked with two of my Visual Communication Design students, Mary-Louise Wang and Gigi Vera, and the student organization PRISM (Pamplin Re-Inventing Social Media) on the development of a logo for the project:
The mark itself is based on a 4×4 grid, which is representative of the “16 blocks” of the original town of Blacksburg, Virginia (where the FutureHAUS and Virginia Tech are located). The form is also similar to that of solar panels. Additionally, it creates a “square donut” form, which mimics the one possible arrangement of the home’s floorplan (in which a private area and a public area of the home are both facing an internal courtyard).
Additionally, the logo has a series of arrows pointing in and out, which embody the slogan we generated:
Outside thinking, Inward focus.
The logo is easily adaptable to a range of patterns, and, as such, can be easily integrated into textile designs and architectural details.
Since the FutureHAUS is competing in the 2018 Solar Decathlon in Dubai, we used photos I took of patterns in the United Arab Emirates as inspiration.
We also developed alternative patterns for scrims, doors, columns, etc.
The students also developed t-shirts and uniforms for the FutureHAUS team.
In addition to assisting with the brand development, I built two websites for the FutureHAUS project based on a modified WordPress template. One was for the main FutureHAUS project: http://futurehaus.tech and the other was specific to the Solar Decathlon event.
I also oversaw a semester-long research development of a prototype for an App to control the home. Students Richee Chang, Becca Grogan, Briana Marshall, and Christina Park worked together on an icon system and app interface.
The app would integrate with the home, utilizing sensors in the refrigerator and pantry. One feature would be recipe suggestions based on products the home has in stock.