A photo of the RAM House under construction in Milan. The prototype will allow those inside to switch to "airplane mode" and block electromagnetic signals from entering and exiting the home.
While smart home technology and the Internet of Things have become huge buzzwords, not everyone wants to be more wired. On display at the Atelier Clerici in Milan from April 14-19 as part of Salone, the RAM House (Radar-Absorbent Material), built from a grid of steel, actually allows those inside to turn off the modern world. Basically, it's a building with an "airplane mode," according to architect Joseph Grima. In a post-Snowden age, when the prevalence of mobile technology means our homes might be the place where we're actually monitored the most, Grima and his collaborators at design research collaborative Space Cavier and PROKOSS decided to build a model home that lets us be more mindful of digital technology and block electromagnetic signals.
"It's not about being a Luddite," he says. "The idea is to establish a new relationship with technology and take control."
The fully wired home, which contains a kitchen, bathroom and library, can engage with the online world when needed, or be shut off by closing different rooms, surrounding them in shields of radar-absorbent material inside a modern Faraday Cage, which uses a current to effectively block signals. While discussing the thought process behind the prototype, Grima placed the project within a long history of utopian homes, making the point that this digital panic room addresses one of the pressing issues of the modern world.
"It's really about establishing a new relationship and being aware of your information," he says.
·RAM House [Aterlier Clerici]