The Extraordinarily Hi-tech DOMO! Showroom in Paris

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More akin to a futuristic apartment than a traditional display space,  Connecting Technology’s newly opened DOMO! showroom features  visible and hidden high-tech gadgets.

Modeled after a real living space, the showroom highlights the company’s design solutions by integrating over 70 innovative tech elements into the home.

Realized by interior designers Gabriel Kowalski and Anne Bureau, some of these tech applications include a mirror at the front entrance that doubles as a computer monitor to control lighting and music; a Corian kitchen table that features a screen projected from the ceiling with a backlit keyboard, allowing for simultaneous web surfing and eating; and a 3D camera that captures and responds to body movements, automatically turning on lights and adjusting radio volume. The lighting also received high-tech treatment: LEDs were placed in the ceiling, walls and entranceways to provide dynamic illumination and also disguise the fact that there’s no natural lighting in the apartment.

Kowalski says one of the biggest challenges was concealing the technology and creating a showroom that appeals to an average homeowner, not just a tech geek. “When properly hidden, technology turns more natural, more user-friendly. I tried to make it sensual, by setting various kinds of interactions: vocal, touch, a move in the air.”

The 120-square-metre showroom includes an open-concept kitchen and living room, two viewing rooms and a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Fritz Hansen furnishings, including Arne Jacobson’s Swan chair and Piero Lissoni’s Alphabet sofa, outfit the living room – while the flooring is by Dinesen. The planks, finished in lye and white soap, run the entire length of each room and on occasion, creep up the walls, creating a log cabin atmosphere.

“All materials were selected for their specific and matching properties with the project,” says Kowalski. “They are active ‘actors’ of the final result.”

While some of the devices are definitely over-the-top luxurious – take, for example, the  bathtub full of perpetually warm perfumy water that can be filled up remotely via an iPhone app – the showroom is meant to merely show what’s possible, not what’s necessary.

As Kowalski explains, “Considering the cost of such installations now, it is still out of reach of most people. Some of the tools presented in the showroom will spread, some will remain silent.”

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