The Functional Human, in Home Design

Homes are functional machines, although most people don’t consider this factor when designing a new home, or only as a side note.  Lets, for a moment, discuss the functional aspects of what humans have to deal with when functioning in a home solely from their point of view, and assume there is a fitting design to solve their daily and weekly tasks in order to save humans the maximum amount of time, thus providing extended opportunities to enjoy life.  It’s a house as machine examination!

For this article, we focus on the habits and routines of Humans, in order to create a more perfect home.


Okay, so we wake up to start the day…

There could be an order to what we do, but lets just jump to the actual tasks and list them in no particular order:

  • Prepare and Eat Breakfast
  • Take a Shower
  • Shave, Brush Teeth and do other Bathroom Duties, that’s right I said ‘duty’. This can include brushing hair, putting on lotion/powder.
  • Prepare Clothing and Get Dressed
  • Associated activities include putting back the tooth brush/paste, soap, shampoo, towel, pajamas, turning on/off lights/vents, warming up water, cleaning shower/tub, cleaning bathroom floor and fixtures, cleaning mirror.

With early morning duties, all which consume our time, often our commute allowing for very little time to enjoy these activities, results in the fact that most people would like to see these activities done as efficiently as possible, to get them out of the way, to ensure one has a proper breakfast which is often ignored or put off and consumed during travel time, etc.  And it’s expected that after this morning transition from our deepest restful sleep that we will look fully awake and put together perfectly.  It’s just not a good time to be a human.

Then imagine this: we wake up and push a ‘morning prepare button’.  The water is preheated, our tools for bathroom activities are arranged on the sink, the lights/vents prepare themselves for our arrival and our cloths are arranged in a way for easy access for quick dressing.  Further as we enter the bathroom there is a place where we put our pajamas that ushers them to the laundry in a special container for bed clothing, the shower starts and we step in.  Upon completion there’s a warm towel reaching out to us for our use.  During the entire exchange breakfast, based on a menu we pre-prepared is, well, preparing itself in the kitchen and has delivered itself in the time we take to finish our bathroom duties and get dress.  Meal, ready for consumption, invites us to sit down, with the news on the tube or perhaps some background music, heck whatever our ideal routine desires.

Admittedly this sounds like a fiction from the future, but there are things we can do in our design of home to incorporate the functionality of every day living, as we already do.  Certainly keeping towels near the shower, or providing a laundry chute, perhaps locating a walk-in closet between the bathroom and bedroom in a way that doesn’t allow humidity to enter the closet where it could be absorbed.  Certainly we could provide means for individuals to arrange their ‘bathroom tools’ easily on the countertop, and make it easy to put them away, and set programming on lights, coffee pots and other items to help smooth over the somewhat complicated process of making one presentable.

Besides this morning routine, or for that matter the routine we take to make our way to bed, there are other functional elements that could and should be incorporated into every home.  Often ignored and forgotten, they can help take the edge off our requirements allowing us to be more efficient and thus save time, but more importantly help us from becoming dysfunctional.  When overwhelmed by too many things, one can loose time to be with family, take a walk to the park, to enjoy a quality life.  By shaving off the time it takes to make our home functional, by designing the functional machines they should be, we can improve our own lives one component at a time.  Lets look at a few things we all have to deal with, unless you’re the type to just hire someone to do it all.  If that’s the case, then you clearly can afford to do these things anyway, so why aren’t you?

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