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Tom Worthington With Tom Worthington FACS, Visiting Fellow, Department of Computer Science, Australian National University

Building The Smart Apartment, 20 February 2002

This is an update to the 12 November 2001 IT issues segment about what is needed for an Internet connected home office or "smart apartment". The building has been completed in the suburb of O'connor in Canberra, but the apartment not yet fitted out with the "smarts".

Birdseye View Lower Floor Workstations

Smart Apartment Design by Ian Douglas

What Can be Done On-line?

Using the Internet and the web a challenge, with some surprises as what it was possible to do on-line and not:

Smart Apartment for the Disabled?

One good use for high technology homes is for the disabled. The City Edge complex, in O'Connor, Canberra, ACT, Australia, which houses the "smart apartment", has several apartments designed for the disabled. These have adjustable height kitchen benches (including the sink and stove top) and wireless controlled front doors. They are intended to go beyond what is usual in "Adaptable Housing".

Adjustable height kitchen bench1 Adjustable height kitchen sink2 Adjustable height stove-top3 Pull out pantry and work surface4 Electric door opener5

The apartments are an initiative of Community Housing Canberra Ltd, a not-for-profit association of community housing providers for people on low and modest incomes: young people, aged people, people with disabilities, indigenous people, students and double and single parent families.

The design of these apartments emphasizes practical low cost equipment. As an example the electrically operated doors are controlled by garage door openers and the adjustable height kitchen benches are adapted from office furniture.

There is potential to add computerized controls for some of this equipment, provided it could be done at a low cost and reliably.

Smart Apartment at the Bauhaus

Planning is underway to include the Smart Apartment as part of Bauhaus Kolleg's programs on the integration of ICT in work environment and life style. Activities would be on-line, at Bauhaus Dessau (Germany) and in Sydney. :

The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is inviting architects, social scientists, designers, planners and artists and other designing professionals to apply for the 2. and 3. Trimester of the Bauhaus Kolleg III Serve City... Ute Lenssen, Project Manager, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Tel: +49 340-6508-402

For the Trimester starting on the 14. February they would still be able to incorporate remote participants. For the 3. Trimester, Australians are invited to Dessau to work in the interdisciplinary group at the Bauhaus.

Serve City Sydney is the third annual program offered:

Having just become the proverbial global "event city” during the 2000 Summer Olympics, Sydney, Australia, simultaneously offers a paradigmatic and unique environment in which to confront the physical, social, and economic imperatives of the evolving global service society. ... This urban landscape of divergent geographies shall serve as the setting for exploring the service economy and its spatial and architectonic representations. In particular, the Kolleg shall focus on several disparate territories spanning the Sydney harborfront currently primed for redevelopment. || The Kolleg endeavors to offer experimental architectural, urban design, planning, and product design concepts and proposals for future dwelling and workplace typologies featuring innovations for serve city and its social and spatial cohesion.From: SERVE CITY 2001-2002.

The Bauhaus Kolleg operates in the interdisciplinary tradition of the historic Bauhaus:

Founded in Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus rallied masters and students who sought to reverse the split between art and production by returning to the crafts as the foundation of all artistic activity and developing exemplary designs for objects and spaces that were to form part of a more humane future society. Following intense internal debate, in 1923 the Bauhaus turned its attention to industry under its founder and first director Walter Gropius (1883-1969). From Bauhaus History


Archive version of the City Edge web site (at May 15, 2001), courtesy of The Internet Archive.

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Copyright © Tom Worthington 2002.