Pratt Institute School of Design

Cohort of the “Smart”
Swati Balasubramanian
We all have a shared relationship with the things we own. Human beings have a natural tendency to associate emotional attachment to the micro-ecosystems they are a part of. We tend to associate memories- good or bad to spaces, cities or countries. When objects have the ability to clearly communicate with us, understand us, and get closer to humanity, the depth of those relationships grows exponentially. Through qualitative research methodologies, my thesis explores the rise of smart environments around us which have caused visible changes in the way people interact with the materialistic and humanistic fabric.
The Introduction
“Siri, the AI assistant for Apple iOS and HomePod devices, is helping more than 40 million users per month, and according to ComScore, one in ten households in the US already own a smart speaker today.”[Goosens,2018] We get up to take showers, but the added activity of switching on the lamp, that effort of displacing our bones, has been eliminated from some of our lives. This thesis is thus an attempt to investigate the promises of the techno-evolution and how deep has the cohort of the ‘smart’ infiltrated into human systems.