Keep your home dumb

The smart home is a data-harvesting method. If you think about the home appliances of the ’50s and the ’60s, a critic like Reyner Banham could argue that they were socially liberating, because the housewife with a washing machine was no longer obliged to boil clothes in a vat, or whatever it might be. The result was free time. Yet the micro-efficiencies provided by today’s appliances don’t have the same social impact at all. The significant gain is for companies.

– Justin McGuirk, chief curator at the Design Museum, in apartamento (issue #20, autumn/winter 2017/2018).