Swinton Featured in
From BWUNN, by Dante Kim.
Artificially intelligent homes and BWU go way back. IT grads of all stripes live
in AI homes or create them for others.
These days, it has become de riguer for the worlds rich and famous to live
in a home thats designed to care not only for itself but for the occupants
as well. AI homes are butlers, maids, and chefseven personal confidants
and, yes, friends.
Over 50 years back, BWU formed one of the first departments focusing on architectural
artificial intelligences. This department, currently chaired by Dr. Arthur Hinsdale,
consistently turns out top names in the field, people who have gone on to fame
and fortune designing and constructing the most fabulous personal abodes in the
Case in point: Martin Swinton (M.S. Architectural Artificial
Intelligence, 2123). This months Metropolitan
Living Homes features him in its cover story.
Martin Swinton was born and raised in New York City, which he says contributes
to his absolute hatred of all things synthetic. Swinton himself is
as stylish as the homes that he designs. Nattily dressed in hemp and linen, he
seems to have a permanent five o clock shadow. The same sensibility runs
throughout Swintons work. If you want a place with excellent hygiene
and a chrome heart, get a Bosch. That will get you out of bed and straight to
work in the morning. Swintons own work, by contrast, has a much more
I like to work with natural materials in my designs, he offers. Hardwoods,
fieldstones, cloth, animals. Beate will build you a dog perfectly suited to you.
Id make you buy a live dog and let the house bring you into harmony with
this unpredictable, living presence.
Swinton has made his name by being willing to work with existing structures, tailoring
his AIs to the needs of the original building. Its a different way
of seeing things. Whereas many designers prefer to start with a tabula rasa, I
like working with things as they already are.
Whats the point in gutting a perfectly good home? Some designers will
tell you that its important to get the clutter out of the way before you
start. To me that clutter is exactly what you want to keep. Its silly to
toss all that history out when instead you can build on it, use it as the basis
of your work.
A home should be an extension of the people who live in it, not the other
way around. As a designer, the first thing I do before I set to work is watch
the homes residents, observing their patterns, and determining how best
to fit their homes personality to their needs.
Winston Churchill once said, We shape our buildings, and afterwards
our buildings shape us. Im a firm believer in that credo. Those words
are more true today than ever before.