Our studio applied new and innovative computing technologies to a growing problem of deep significance, both in the United States as well as the site of our travel, Japan. Changing demographics have led to an imbalance between a disproportionately aging and infirm population and too few young workers to support the elderly. In Japan this crisis is particularly acute, with a quarter of its citizens reaching retirement age, already the highest in the world but expected to increase dramatically in the next decade. In Japan, we visited research laboratories developing robotic exoskeletons, mind-reading devices that can record dreams, smart wheelchairs and streets that talk. The studio created active prototype housing units for the physically and cognitively impaired, designed in coordination with the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute BMI Smart Home initiative. The housing units incorporated novel Human Computer Interface technology to actively engage in the health and well-being of the occupant.
Karl Bengzon A/B/C/D