Dutch Design Institute
4-6 November 1994
@ RAI Convention Centre
The second Doors of Perception Conference organised by the Netherlands Design Institute and Mediamatic introduced a thematic approach to an interactive design conference that had developed into a multi-disciplinary gathering, where design, theory and business meet. `@Home’ attracted 1100 attendees from 22 countries to the Amsterdam RAI convention center.
Speakers focussed on a particular context, `home’ — as market, as metaphor, and as myth. Industry has great expectations for home as a site for new products, as an outlet for entertainment and information services, and as a place of work. But when a new technology enters a culture, the culture changes. What does that mean for `home’?
From the multiple perspectives of marketing, technology, design, philosophy, anthropology, and psychology, speakers considered the cultural impact of technology on work and play, home and school, learning and entertainment. They compared the qualities of telematic space and domestic space. They talked about real nomads and telematic nomads. They analysed changes to our sense of place, both public and private. They looked at the psychology of belonging — to a family, group, or community. They explored the architecture of information, and the creation of shared meaning, in virtual communities. The point of this debate is that uncritical assumptions, and a crude use of `real world’ metaphors about the home, can actually stifle innovation. Vast resources are being devoted to digital versions of existing human activities — teleshopping, video-on-demand, telecommuting; but attempts to create entirely new uses for the technologies have been unambitious, to say the least.