HOME is the acronym of the research project “Human Observation Meta Environment”.

– – > Funded by URBE project and the Siebel Energy Grant, HOME aims to explore the relationship between architecture, technology, data and energy consumption by introducing a Smart Agent within the Luigi Einaudi Campus and the Valentino Castle.

– –> Through sensor networks, the Smart Agent can monitor the space and behavior of its inhabitants enabling them to “negotiate” the energy management of the building using natural interfaces (such as voice, body and text interactions – e.g. on social networks). The pilot has been turned into an artwork: a generative poem for smart homes.

The project

The buildings we inhabit is gradually provided with  “smart” technologies: systems for capturing and monitoring data on human presence, environmental conditions, use and energy efficiency, service quality levels, and much more. However, we are far from integrating these technologies in the design of buildings and in people’s daily lives in ways that are critical, harmonious and able to explore their potential, limitations or implications.

The HOME project wonders how it is possible to use technologies for natural interaction to create new type of relatios between people and environments, improving our energy behaviors. Two characterizing elements make this challenge more interesting and meaningful.The first aspect  concerns the use of intelligent technologies: machine and deep learning, natural language analysis, Artificial Intelligence.
The second aspect concerns the possibility of using artistic interventions, or making use of the artistic values of places to activate interactive dynamics to establish relationships between people and environments.

The project was structured in:

  • a 3-month pilot in which the Smart Agent was tested in the two ambients of the Valentino Castle and the Campus Einaudi;
  • the artistic intervention, under the form af an interactive installation. “Sul Caldo e sul Freddo” is a generative poem for  smart home, in which the technologies created for the pilot give life to an immersive artwork presented  at the Contemporary ART Torino Piemonte week, within the Nesxt festival;
  • a transdisciplinary seminar for students, undergraduates, doctoral students and professors of the Polytechnic and the University of Turin.

The pilot

A prototype version was implemented in two ampbients respectively  in the Valentino Castle and in  the Einaudi Campus, with the aim of: transform the room into a natural interaction interface.

The technological structure  is equipped with sensors, data collection systems, and data processing capabilities that include machine/ deep learning, natural language analysis  and artificial intelligence. The interface of the system consists of a Smart Agent, an intelligent entity with which to relate in a natural way: with voice, body and the textual interaction.

The installation

The installation project HOME – Sul Caldo e sul Freddo. Un poema generativo per la smart home transforms the technologies developed for the pilot into an interactive artwork. It  is an interactive environment where the  “smart” technologies turn themselves into poetry.

The Valentino Castle becomes sensitive to people’s presence, movements and stories, and it starts telling their climatic adventures in the building, depending on its most elementary components: hot and cold. An algorithmic poem, generated in real time by digital sensors and bodies, comes to life. The result is an immersive experience where visitors can listen poetic texts and generative soundscapes, modulated by temperature variations and by  their interactions with the building.

Sul Caldo e sul Freddo has been presented during the Piemonte Contemporary art Weeck, in the contectx of Next Festival.

The seminar

Smart technologies change the way we relate to spaces, objects and objects environments of our daily life, with implications that concern not only technologies and the efficiency of services, but the laws, the rights, the imaginary and the ontology of the world.

For this reason, it is necessary that different disciplines are are interested in the subject to face it from multiple points of view: from technological to humanistic ones.

HOME Seminar’s aim was to  involve the inhabitants of the Campus in the discussion of the project and its implications, creating a space of expression, reflection and co-planning, in the comparison between different disciplines

HOME Seminar was aimed at students of the specialist, undergraduates, doctoral students, researchers and professors of scientific and humanistic disciplines, enrolled at the Polytechnic of Turin and at the University of Turin.


HOME  born from the collaboration between the Inter-university Department of Sciences, Project and Territory Policies (DIST), the PoliTo Green Team and UniTo Green Office and HER – Human Ecosystems Relations, funded thanks to URBE project – Understanding the Relationship Between Urban Form and Energy Consumption Through Behavioral Patterns (scientific manager: Patrizia Lombardi), winner of the Siebel Energy Grant.

Between art and science, research and communication, HOME fits into increasing area of interest that conceives of Art as a catalyst for research and for technology innovation processes. It is supported by European programs such as  STARTS – Innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology and the Arts (www.starts.eu).


Posted on

November 11, 2018