HOT-WALL proposes a new form of household equipment for the cultivation of creaturely life. As we come to terms with the increasing normalization of domestic confinement (as much due to the pandemic as to other contemporary models of work and life), the project asks how we might reformat our interior worlds and their infrastructures of care. 

Conceived as an update to Hannes Meyer’s Co-op Interieur, the project recreates the minimal room of the contemporary dweller, replacing the phonograph with a new type of sensorial accessory: the LED grow light. Through this simple gesture of substitution, the project examines how the pandemic has redefined not just social life but the extra-human alliances and ecological entanglements of the everyday. Constructed from a light-weight aluminum truss structure, each cart is equipped with red/blue spectrum emitting LED lights that help cultivate the abundant growth of leafy foliage. Although equipped with robust wheels and ergonomic handles, the cart is an overly large and clumsy object, awkwardly monumentalizing the domestic interior. 

The glowing lights produce an ambient yet agonistic form of coexistence, intimately confronting the human cohabitant. The space, bathed in the artificial pink wash of the grow-lights, lays bare the explicitly energy-intensive and alien qualities of the plants’ domestic habitat. These simple machines produce a form of stewardship that troubles asymmetries between companion species and their human care-takers, operating within the technical, ecological, and social systems of survival to propose a new form of multi-species collectivity. 

"Portrait of a Palm" is a digital collage that explores the indigenous ecologies, global supply chains, and consumer markets of the Majesty Palm, a popular houseplant. 

Prototype, 2020-2021

Project Leads: Daniel Jacobs, Brittany Utting

Design Team: Jianing Cui