OpenArch Adds A “Digital Layer” To The Average Room

Creating a workable Minority Report-like screen isn’t very hard but what about an entire room or building that responds to touch, voice, and movement? Now that’s hard. That, however, is the goal of OpenArch, a project by designer Ion Cuervas-Mons that uses projectors, motion sensors, and light to create interactive spaces.


“This project started 3 years ago when I had the opportunity to buy a small apartment in the north of Spain, in the Basque Country. I decided to start my own research in the small apartment. I am architect and I was really interested on integrating physical and digital layers,” said Cuervas-Mons. “Our objective was to create a Domestic Operating System (D.OS) integrating physical and digital realities.”

The project as seen here is about 40% done and there is still more to do. Cuervas-Mons sees a deep connection between how space defines digital interaction and vice-versa. The goal, in the end, is to create a digital component that can live in any space and enliven it with digital information, feedback, and sensors.

He’s not just stopping at projectors and some computing power. His goal is the creation of truly smart environments.

“I think we need smart homes: first because of energy efficiency, visualization of consumptions on real time will help us not to waste energy. If we introduce physical objects into the interaction with digital information everything will be easier and simpler. They are going to be the center of the future smart cities,” he said.


Cuervas-Mons also runs design consultancy called Think Big Factory where he brings the things he’s learned in the OpenArch project to market. The project itself uses off-the-shelf components like Kinect sensors and projectors

The group will launch a Kickstarter project in January to commercialize the product and make it available to experimenters. How this technology will eventually work in “real life” is anyone’s guess, but it looks like the collective of technologists, architects, and designers is definitely making some waves in the smart home space.