Speculative design

Smart home: At the table

Speculative ideas primarily focused on Smart Home from the perspective of designers


Speculative design, smart home, design research, design fiction

Collaborate with
Purdue Univeresity, KIDP
Apr. 2018 in Korea (2 weeks), Oct. 2018 in USA (3 weeks)
6 design students (3 from Korea, 3 from USA)

Project Overview

How will the world change in 10 or 20 years? The Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring about a lot of innovation and change in our lives. Everything including our homes, jobs, our methods of transportation, the environment, and our lives will be improved. We should be also concerned about the quality of life in the future since there are problems at the present time, such as the energy crisis, an aging population, and a low birth rate. Therefore, in order to suggest the future ideas primarily focused on smart homes from the perspective of designers, and to predict the future of smart homes, students from South Korea and the United States combined forces in the summer of 2018.

"Double Diamond" design process, the creative process which British Design Council mapped out in 2005, was used for this project. In May, we discovered current problems related to events that occur in the home by seeking to understand the desires and needs of people who live in homes and by defining some problems in homes in South Korea. Therefore, each team set out in 4 directions to build concepts. In the United States, in the month of August, we ultimately proposed various solutions on the future of smart home by developing ideas and designing solutions.

Kick-off session was held in the KIDP(Korea Institute of Design Promotion) located in Yang-san to share the goals and build teams for carrying out the project. Each lead student presented short thoughts and cultural nuances related to the topic. Eventually, three teams were formed and each team has different theme: Smart kitchen (team1), Bathroom (team2), Social gathering (team3).

* This project has been published as a book, Smart Home 4.0, ISBN number: 979-11-87069-28-7 [13600]

My Role

Student leader; user research, design scenario

Opportunity Identification

Affinity diagram for the topic

In the first place, the term, “Smart Home: at the table”, was so broad that it needed to be narrowed down to a theme that could satisfy both South Korea and the United States in the first step. We tried to understand each nation's food culture. Then, we derived keywords to find a narrower topic through affinity diagram method. We decided to focus on the topic “At the

table” which includes activities besides eating done while eating, such as watching things and

engaging in a structure.

AEIOU Framework

The AEIOU Framework was used to discover idea opportunities that could be satisfied in

both countries. The AEIOU Framework came in handy as it provided us with a heuristic

approach to help interpret research gathered through our ethnographic efforts. We tried to interpret the current issues and find the opportunities for ideation by empathy mapping after we experienced each country’s food culture.

Challenges: Eating activity issues

Keep quiet while eating

Eat meals while watching phone

Take long time to eat while talking a lot

Do not eat meals only in the kitchen

Conceptual Design

Co-creation workshop

Two major workshops advanced the idea. Through primary meeting with team members,

ideas were narrowed down and then shared at the integrated workshop in order to collect

various feedback and opinions to further develop the design.

In a co-working studio called Match Box, we worked on the project and attempted to develop our ideas more in depth. Match Box is a place in Lafayette, Indiana where people can share space while working on creative projects. It was an optimal place where teamwork could be maximized. We were able to enhance our level of imagination and creativity while drawing many sketches. We repeatedly modified ideas that had come up through idea sketches. In the end, each team selected three specific ideas that they decided to continue to work on.

Value Proposition Canvas

A Value Proposition Canvas was designed to determine the suitability of the problem resolution. The Canvas described the benefits customers can expect from our ideas. After identifiying customer segments, we listed our future ideas and outlined pain relievers and gain creators using one sticky note per component. Lastly, we ranked those ideas in order of importance.

Value Proposition

Key Concept

Problem-based Directions (-)

Opportunity-based Directions (+)


Big workload

Pal up



Family + Friendship

Be well

Health + Wellness


KIN is a system based on connectivity of the home with the user but most importantly an aid to connect people with other people. The features all help improve human relationships through everyday activities.