The Emancipation of a Door | Stephan Kriegleder

Master Thesis l Prof. Dr. Jens Geelhaar l Interface Design, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar l Prof. Marc Böhlen l DMS - Media Study , University at Buffalo l Summer 2017

The Emancipation of a Door

With the fast forwarding progress of the Internet of Things, Smart Houses, Smart Cities and governmental hunger for surveillance, computer algorithms increasingly leave desktop pcs and become part of our architectural environment. The former fundamental architectural elements, such as walls, windows, doors, floors, and stairs were for a long time the product of its shape and material, immobile and only moved when actuated. In our present times each architectural object can be automated and perform basic tasks, such as moving stairs and automatic doors, to more complex tasks, like door locks fremote controlled by mobile phones or window shutters reacting to the sunlight. Computational sensing becomes more and more precise and is in many fields more accurate than human sensing. In the future automated objects will be fed with a lot more information of their surrounding. This determines not only everyday human-object interactions, but also the perception of architecture and objects. Is this object sensing or is it not? What is it reacting to and how much does it know? These are questions people can ask in the future about a simple bench.Everyone has their own position to these changes. For some they are pleasing, for others they are rather frightening.

An automatic door is augmented with higher sensing, some little artificial intelligence and unusual acting. Perceiving people in its environment via face recognition and answering to their presence with more humanised behaviour.

“We shall be questioning concerning technology, and in so doing we should like to prepare a free relationship to it.” (Heidegger, Questions Concerning Technology, 1949)
If freedom gives people the choice to or not to have a relationship with technologies, where does this freedom find a place when technologies decide to have a relationship with humans, not the other way around.
This experimental design thesis got a little bit closer to that question.