How Marylin Monroe inspired a different approach to privacy.
Dinie Besems talk about skirts and rituals
1. Privacy is constantly negotiated
For jeweller Dinie Besems, privacy within the home should be something flexible. Sometimes you want a lot, sometimes you don't.
"Imagine if you have strangers in your home. It's normal that you would want to present yourself -and your home- differently".
However, most smart home products don't have affordances to vary your protection level. For example, as more tiny screens proliferate, anyone who enters your home might read out their values.
Can we make privacy in the home less binary?
Lift the skirt
Dinie developed the idea of 'skirts'. By draping the skirt over the screen you can hide (a part of) the data being displayed.
"If I have people I don't know well over for dinner and I've been cooking all afternoon, then I don't want to confront them with how poor the air quality may be. I'd rather talk about the quality of the wine."
Protecting privacy, and the breaking of it, could become a ritual.
2. Privacy as a luxury
A smart home fit for a king.
Materials for rituals
To further her idea that managing your preferred privacy levels could become part of small daily rituals, she wanted to make the devices feel great to the touch.
As a jeweler, Dinie is keenly aware that "enjoying a product is about more than functionality".
Hand made glass beads act as large physical buttons that allow you to quickly re-adjust the skirt. But even the main bodies - all made of beads - can change shape.
"It becomes a playful thing. Intimate. It's beautiful as much as it's useful."