Smart Homes and Automation: The Future of Residential Design

January 26, 2024



Albert Aycardo

Smart homes merge the physical and virtual in a framework that act as an extension of a homeowner’s behavior. From day-to-day conveniences to situational uses, integrating digital capabilities and intelligence to our structures introduce a new dynamic between users and their space. 

Having a smart system that controls different utilities and detects different conditions in your home can help tailor it to your lifestyle. And making the most out of smart objects involves automating tasks based on the way you live. 

A graphic of house depicting interconnectivity with its surroundings.
Smart technology can elevate a home’s interconnectivity.

Designing for Connectivity and Interoperability

Connecting the functionalities of your home can introduce a lot of benefits. You can potentially control all your smart devices from just your phone. The home can be managed from anywhere and anytime, whether it be from work or while on vacation.  

Furthermore, you can control smart devices in a myriad of ways. Residents can simply speak and voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, or Cortana, can immediately execute a command. Checking the weather forecast, playing music, or googling something can be done hands free without unlocking your phone or device. It’s like having your very own personal assistant.

A google home unit on a table.
Control your smart devices with a voice activated assistant. Photo by Thomas Kolnowski on Unsplash.

Near Field Connection (NFC) is an emerging technology that can create new ways to interact with technology. Now a feature with most mobile phones, NFC tags can be placed near appliances to automate certain interactions. For example, visitors can simply place their phone against a wall with an NFC tag to connect to the home’s wifi. 

As technology advances, so too will how we use our spaces. Installing smart infrastructure into a home’s system adds a future-proofing component. Structures need to adapt to the facets of progress in day-to-day life lest spaces become obsolete. 

Maximizing the Advantages of Smart Homes

An ecosystem of smart technology can greatly enhance the day-to-day experience of users.  To get the most out of smart home technology requires an understanding of both habits and rituals that tech can emulate. Automations can be based on different facets of life whether it be your waking hours, work routines, or domestic responsibilities. 

Smart features often form a network that allows for more specificity and control. Additionally, using automation can maximize your time and resources. Automating various utilities and appliances help save time and even energy depending on how you move through your space throughout the day. 

Photo by <a href="">Moritz Kindler</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Adjust the brightness of your house lights through your device. Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash

You can schedule smart lights to switch on at sunset and switch off at sunrise. Likewise, smart glass darkens or lightens based on the amount of sunlight. Thermostats connected to your air conditioning system regulate temperatures throughout the day. Sprinklers water lawns and gardens with a set frequency.  

Security features such as locks, cameras, and sensors are centralized and accessible on a mobile device. Doorbells and front-door sensors can alert a homeowner if any guests or packages arrive. Additionally, fall detection sensors installed in accident-prone areas, such as bathrooms or stairs, can alert other occupants. It can even contact emergency services automatically when sensors detect fire or a break in. 

Integrating Smart Home Technology into Design

Great design must always consider how people experience and interact with the spaces they inhabit. This involves two key aspects: First, the functionality of the space and its role in facilitating human activity. Second, the impact on the senses, creating an environment that is engaging and responsive to the users.

Architects and designers are now quick to integrate new concepts and technologies into buildings as innovations arise. We’ve come a long way from lighting torches and flicking switches. A simple hand or voice command can now be used to control the a variety of appliances and electronics.  

Smart homes can aid architects in designing environment conducive to users’ lifestyle. A system that continuously monitors and adjusts to their behavior allows for more consistent conditions in one’s home. Therefore, to create a harmonious and personalized user experience, it’s essential to have the proper infrastructure to support these technologies.

The Oroña Residence showcases the successful integration of natural elements and digital technology to enhance user experience. Architect Danielle Jay Aleido focused on creating a home for their clients that is not only enjoyable to live in but also durable. A primary challenge faced by Aleido in the design process was the property’s size.

You can imagine the difficulty of having to keep monitor a large number of spaces with their respective utilities and appliances. Including smart home technologies and automations gives the homeowners a more convenient way to control and manage their home. Residents can use their mobile devices to control the lights, curtains, garage door, and CCTV cameras. 

The Future With Smart Homes

Smart homes and automation look to be part of our future in how we experience our spaces. A responsive system to the needs of users can greatly improve the day-to-day interactions and management of our respective domiciles.

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