HomeForest chosen by Heatherwick, Fosters and Brooks chiefs
A multidisciplinary team led by Haptic Architects has won the inaugural £10,000 Davidson Prize.
The HomeForest proposal to bring the restorative properties of nature inside, was chosen from a shortlist of three by a jury that included Narinder Sagoo, senior partner at Foster & Partners, Alison Brooks and Thomas Heatherwick.
Brooks said: ‘Like us playing music which feeds our soul, HomeForest brings a more immersive, sensory connection to nature which I find super interesting.’
The prize was set up in memory of Alan Davidson, founder of architectural visualisers Hayes Davidson. The inaugural trophy was awarded at a digital award ceremony last night and all the shortlisted entries will be displayed online as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
HomeForest blends digital and physical worlds to make working from home less isolating. Inspired by research on the positive wellbeing benefits of biophilia and the concept of ‘forest bathing’, HomeForest’s digital toolkit conjures a sense of boundaryless nature in the home using sensory stimulation such as the sound of birdsong and projections of trees.
The judges praised HomeForest as an “exemplar of how technology can be used in a positive way, particularly for those who don’t have access to outside space during a pandemic”. They particularly noted the highly multidisciplinary nature of the collaboration, and the fact that it offered a tangible solution with potential for universal roll-out.
Narinder Sagoo said: ‘This was a very seductive presentation and in terms of team, presentation and communication, it’s in a world of its own!’
Marie Chamillard, The Davidson Prize representative, said: ‘Throughout the process, I have been astonished to see the variety and quality of the ideas. Alan would have been so thrilled with the three finalists submissions and I know that the Home/Forest scheme would have resonated with him. He was an early adopter of all things digital, he loved trialling new things that would blend discreetly into his home and enhance the atmosphere. He would have absolutely used this.’
The other judges were author and broadcaster Michelle Ogundehin and Sonia Solicari, director of Wright and Wright’s Museum of the Home.
HomeForest by HomeForest
Agnieszka Glowacka + Tracy Shum + Agnete Wisnes Astrup + Janicke Saether, all from Haptic Architects
Alice Britton + Eleanor Greenleaf, Squint/Opera
Will Worsley, Coda to Coda
Yaoyao Meng, Interdisciplinary Designer
HomeForest’s winning solution brings the restorative effects of nature inside, playfully blending digital and physical worlds to soften the constraints of working from home. For many, home working has meant feelings of isolation, with commonly reported issues including navigating boundaries between home and work, forgetting to take breaks to recover from back-to-back online meetings and the loss of stimulating chance interactions. Inspired by research on the positive wellbeing benefits of biophilia and in particular the concept of ‘forest bathing’, HomeForest’s digital toolkit works with perception and sensory stimulation to conjure a sense of boundaryless nature in the home.
Installed on a mobile device, the proposed toolkit initially maps the physical home as the occupant moves around, creating a digital twin and connecting to home technology and devices. From this a unique digital ecosystem begins to grow, learning an individual’s habits in order to look after their wellbeing and offering the option of connecting to a world-wide network of like-minded individuals.
HomeForest’s features work as a system, combining sensory experiences such as the call of birdsong, the smell of rain and projected imagery of a forest canopy to support wellbeing and aid relaxation. Additional features include an air-quality monitor to detect stress, audio that stimulates ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) states and gobo lighting to echo the natural rhythms of the seasons and time of day.
THE RUNNERS UP
Com-View-Nism by New Normal
Petros Ioannou, Pliarch
Sanja Tiedemann, Studio Yume
Ashley Thomas + Mike Gatfield, Whitby Wood
Mirko Nardecchia, Graphic Designer
Barnaby Dick, Crowd Control
Vasiliki Malakasl, Idea Design
New Normal explored the idea of a pop-out window extension workspace by surveying a typical, terraced London Street. A modern-day interpretation of the bay window, their sustainable, widely accessible proposal adds an extra 1.2 sqm to a room, creating a space for focused working that envelops the user while reconnecting them with the community – helping to combat the loneliness reported by 20% of remote workers. Classed as a reversible temporary alteration in planning terms, the pop-out can be retracted when not in use, returning façades to their original state.
Designed for round-the-clock use, Com-View-Nism filters natural daylight as well as incorporating three layers of tuneable LED lighting. Choice of illumination and interior finishes will affect the look and feel of each individual pop-out at night, contributing to interesting and animated streetscapes.
The Antipody by Origin 3 Studio
Origin 3 Studio’s solution removes work from both home and office, embedding it firmly in the community while challenging the dominance of our car culture. The Antipody – or Pody – is a flexible and dynamic model that proposes displacing the parked cars that clog many residential streets with a new kind of cellularised mobile workspace, offering a sustainable alternative to the office commute.
Inspired by the barrows of traditional market traders, the structure’s lightweight steel platform is equipped with oversized wheels. The shell of the Pody is formed via rotational moulding from recycled plastics – including lateral flow test kits – and combines thermal properties with structural integrity. Expansive glazed openings double as access and offer direct visual connection with the street, populating the public realm with visible work and promoting the incidental interactions that are part of everyday working life.