Houses of tomorrow: A more hopeful vision of domesticity, or a dystopian nightmare?

In the future, will we find a better way to live, or will our homes be taken over by surveillance and despotic appliances?

Imagine, if you can, a small, bluish room. Wires, screens, sensors. A few keepsakes from the old world. The room’s fleshy inhabitant, confined indoors by a zoonotic pandemic, greenwashes a data-mining company from her bed. The government has made it illegal for her to step outside.

There is a communal kitchen down the corridor, which she shares with a few strangers she met online, but mostly she orders her meals via an interface and eats them here. Microphones record her interactions. A motion sensor on her wrist reminds her to optimise her performance. Filled with saudade for the dying world outside, she has bought a few rainforest plants to brighten the space. Her pocket surveillance device reminds her to water them. She catches the news: the world’s richest man has just left the Earth’s atmosphere.

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