Fort Builder is a technical prototype which encourages you to recall the joy of building something as a kid, and then knocking it over. It would allow you to take real objects from your home and stack them up on top of one another, ignoring the limitations of gravity, until you choose to release them and they all come toppling down.
Making a fort at home out of pieces of furniture is a common childhood experience. It’s also a case in point for reimagining everyday objects: blissfully ignoring their assigned functions and instead seeing building blocks for a castle wherever you look. FIELD.SYSTEMS wanted to ground each experiment in a human behaviour that we’re either already used to, or that would be intuitive to pick up. They didn’t want to force anything, or ask users to have to learn something before they can enjoy it. To do this, they applied spatial computing to already familiar metaphors or habits, to create new tools for playing with space and interior.
'When we started working on this project, all members of the studio had started working from home, and this gave us a heightened sense of how we use our space, and how multi-functional it has to be now.'
FIELD have always been interested in what they call "visualising the invisible" – giving an identity or a look and feel to hidden technologies. When developing their ideas, they wanted to demystify the technology by making it human, relatable and emotional. Still, finding and identifying objects in the room and creating a static mapped surface was a challenge. LiDAR helped FIELD to achieve this, but it is still in its infancy on consumer devices. Children can play with the collected three dimensional (3D) models in a rigid body simulation to create playful augmented or virtual reality (VR) sculptures.
'We believe once it is developed further and is integrated with other new tech such as artificial intelligence (AI), object recognition and constant depth estimation it will become much more stable, allowing for even more intricate integration between home and device.'
FIELD believe that working from home has made all of us even more aware of how important it is that our spaces take on different functions throughout the day – when we switch off from work, we need a change of atmosphere, even (or especially) when we use the same room for work and leisure. They also believe that home is a flexible space: it has to simultaneously be our office, our gym, our sanctuary. In many cases, it’s a multi-generational space, shared by people with very different needs.