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A planner mapping space + time.

Matthew De Palo


We are at home when we decide to be, when we want to be. When we are are not “out there,” out in the “world,” the “real world.” We are at home, in a sense, only linguistically, only precariously, when we say to ourselves, “I know where I am in time. I know where I am in space. I am on terra cognita.” HOME is a personal planner that helps users map space and time in ways that are personal and elastic. Using written theory and interactive frameworks, users are cued to deconstruct their personal circumstances (in the form of calendars, room maps, and esoteric dialogues.) A sense of home is constructed through embodied awareness. By engaging with the rooms, practices, ideas and planet around you in ways that are new and unusual, a sense of identity is fostered and iterated.


The process of creating a “thesis” about “home” implies a unified theory that is comic in scope. It implies that we know what we are dealing with here, and that all participants are talking about the same thing. My thesis, is that people are their own best theorist. I began researching home a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of 2020, we were asked to make a snap judgement about how we define home, and held to it ad nauseam for better or for worse. My main challenge was understanding through what modality I would explore the concept of home. Most of my design difficulty centered around the issue of scope. Culturally and ethnographically, it is unreasonable to assert one can design for all defined homes. My challenge was creating an intervention, theory and frameworks that were both personal and universal.


The outcome of this project is a work that is both self-contained and undefined. Exploring the concept of the Anthropocene, I did not decide on the channel of consumption for my project. HOME is an open-source PDF that can be downloaded, printed, re-created, considered, collaged, appropriated, deleted, ignored, framed or vandalized. The goal of HOME is to present theories and associated frameworks that help the user arrive at an embodied and ontological understanding of their own home. This understanding can be the same as, diametrically opposed to, or irrelevant to my personal assertions. Overall, the final form of this project is a tool that allows users to conduct design research on themselves, without any experience conducting design research. My conclusion is that my theory becomes dynamic when cross-referenced with one’s own input. My hope is that my planner will be used to foster community, soothe individuals, and build homes.

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