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Also known as the place I write words.

Network Connected Homes – aka the Autonomous Home

By Brooks Atwood
October 16, 2015

Network Connected Homes is a smart, pre-fab home research company. Our goal is to advance smart home intelligence and construction methods in a way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole by reducing energy and waste while constantly improving through data analytics. This is just a draft, a starting point on which to build a further discussion.

The outcome of this venture is uncertain and the work is difficult, but we believe the goal and structure are right. We hope this is what matters most to our environment, technology and construction.


An autonomous home is capable of fulfilling the main functions for a livable, healthy and wellness environment of a traditional home. An autonomous home is capable of sensing its environment and making necessary adjustments without human input.

Autonomous homes sense their surroundings with such technologies as “smart devices” (IOT – internet of things), air quality sensors, energy use and consumption, water use and consumption, sound levels, temperature control, GPS, light therapy/lightscaping and computer vision. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identity appropriate controls to maintain an environmentally efficient, healthy and comfortable home that responds to the inhabitants. By definition, autonomous homes are capable of updating their algorithms (or AI) based on sensory input, allowing the homes to keep track of user data, environmental data, energy data, efficiency and overall wellness without input from the user.

Autonomous Home Communication Systems
Individual homes may benefit from information obtained from other homes in the vicinity, especially information relating to energy use and maximizing efficiency. Home communication systems use home units as the communicating nodes in a peer-to-peer network, providing each other with information. As a cooperative approach, home communication systems could help reduce the load on energy, water use, natural resources, carbon footprint, fossil fuels as well as share/distribute stored solar energy and grey water.

• Autonomous Homes are crowdsourced
• uses OTA (over-the-air) updates to push new technology to tens of thousands of homes
• the Home builds a reference of energy use and consumption
• the Home also has up-to-the-minute data on heat gain/loss, solar energy, water & electrical data, air quality, humidity – all of this can help improve materials, passive solar design, home orientation, off-gassing, etc.

Possible Advantages – an increase in the use of autonomous homes would make possible such benefits:
• Reduced carbon footprint and emissions
• Reduced dependence on fossil fuels
• Avoid peak energy times by distributing the load
• Reduce use on non-recyclable or non-sustainable materials
• Reduce overall construction waste
• Ability to truly create the first Smart Home (not just a Convenient Home)
• Purified living, hushed interiors, quantified living, lightscaping, responsive systems
• Remote Service – alarms, home monitoring, remote control
• Home Security – security & disaster prevention, CCTV monitoring, entry management
• Energy management – Green device, scenario control, energy management system
• Entertainment – residential development info, news, traffic, info
• Could reduce home owners insurance or theft due to the homes increased awareness
• Removal of gas/water/electrical meters as this would all be controlled by one central hub and the data sent OTA to all necessary agencies for monitoring and/or billing – this also eliminates the need for meter readers and exterior meters
• Reduction in the overall cost of the house
• Better/smarter more sustainable materials – with the data being collected and analyzed, material research and knowledge will increase and produce more energy efficient materials, cleaner and healthier materials

Possible Developments
• by 2016, plans to build and introduce the world’s first autonomous home(s)
• by 2016, plans to build the world’s first autonomous neighborhood
• by 2017, plans to build the world’s first autonomous housing development of 7,000 homes.

The architecture and construction industry need to think of the home as connected devices, that the way a house should operate, like your cell phone or laptop so you can do improvements over the air. It’s important for climate change and sustainability that the construction industry move to a connected philosophy…it’s kind of off to have a home that’s not connected.

The fact that the Autonomous Home is connected and receives real-time feedback means we can continuously make them smarter. It’s neighborhood intelligence.


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Construction has started on our custom designed single-family residence in Silverlake, CA. For more info on the project, click Caivano Residence

There’s the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Park Observatory! What a view!

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There’s been a lot of talk about innovation and creativity and how best to go about implementing these techniques into your life, advertising strategies, product design or business development. Now, I cannot say for sure as I have not scientifically tested this thesis and it’s really open for feedback, but in any case, something to twerk about.

Everyone from FastCo.Design to Forbes to Wired have all published articles about the secret to innovation and creativity.  The Journal for Consumer Research even published an article that declares 70db of background noise as the perfect level to maximize creativity (see it on the

So, while i’m listening to Led Zeppelin at 70db’s on my Sonos speakers in my large open loft space (all are necessary for creativity  according to scientific research), I realized that all of this is bullshit.  Actually, it’s more athletic than you think and kind of like a mechanic adding horsepower to your engine by altering it’s onboard microchip. In fact, it’s way cooler too. After obsessing over my favorite article “What Neuroscience Says About The Link Between Creativity And Madness” and then watching Stan Lee’s Superhumans (and since this is full disclosure, The Wolf of Wall Street), I realized that creativity and design thinking is a superhuman power and that I, in fact, poses this power. Let me explain how I do it.

image by Fritz Kahn

In the brain, there’s a process called the Central Governor that regulates physical exercise so you don’t pass out. It’s more specific but basically it fakes out your body thinking it’s more tired than it is so you stop what you’re doing and chill out. The term “governor” comes from a device used on engines to limit how fast they run. The purpose of the governor was to prevent the engine from damaging itself by spinning too fast.  Professional athletes have figured out how to control (or eliminate) their Central Governors in order to do superhuman feats like swim across the English Channel or riding the Tour de France.  But like all good athletes (and mechanics) there’s a way to manipulate the Central Governor so that you can bypass any regulations that your brain is sending in order for you to reach your full speed.

Now, what if there was a Central Governor for creativity?  And what if you could turn it off!

Creative geniuses and leading world innovators have figured out how to turn theirs off!  Have you?



Additional links (aka footnotes):
11 Nuggets Of Advice For Design Students, Direct From The Pros
Solving Problems for Real World, Using Design
How Do You Transform Good Research Into Great Innovations?
Method’s Method for Building Breakthrough Products
Trumping Brainstorming
Why Companies Are Terrible At Spotting Creative Ideas
10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brains That You Can Do Every Day
Fresh Thinking on Innovation

Have a Happy and Wonderful (and of course Creative) Holidays!

…and if you need some inspiration, read “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth” by Bruce Mau!

“Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.” Bruce Mau

20 Tips that will change your life by POD Design!

0.20 tips from POD Design

1.Be Yourself 20 tips from POD Design

2.Work as a team 20 tips from POD Design

3.Attack Life 20 tips from POD Design

4.Fight for your ideas 20 tips from POD Design

5.Never Forget to be sexy 20 tips from POD Design

6.Always try higher 20 tips from POD Design

7.Be a Light 20 tips from POD Design

8.Always... 20 tips from POD Design

9.Dont be Afraid to open new doors 20 tips from POD Design

10. Be able to keep a good secret 20 tips from POD Design


12.Be radical 20 tips from POD Design

13.Fail,Fail,Fail 20 tips from POD Design

14.Touch The Limit 20 tips from POD Design

15.Dont forget the gravity 20 tips from POD Design

16.start from scratch 20 tips from POD Design

17.Scare yourself 20 tips from POD Design


19.Be prepared for the turbulences 20 tips from POD Design


Fall Trends for 2013.  We’ve scoured all of our favorite places for the most amazing fall trends of the season. Here you go!
This is how we work! We tape everything on our walls (all over!) and then rearrange and rearrange and rearrange….you get the idea!

01 kent sofa by Jason Miller-the future perfect
Kent Sofa by Jason Miller

Hawley side table by Egg Collective

Reader chair and foot stool by Roman & Williams

atlas side table by Brad Ascalon DWR
Atlas side table by Brad Ascalon


02 future-perfect-goddard-armchair-russell-pinch
Goddard Armchair by Russell Pinch

Helix coffee table by Chris Hardy

HUB side table by Roman & Williams


Plisse Standing Lamp by Piet Hein Eek
Plisse Standing Lamp by Piet Hein Eek

03 decolorized_mohairpurp
Decolorized Mohair Rug by Golran

Bucketseat in Scrapwood by Piet Hein Eek

LG Studio_Mirage_Shelves
Mirage shelving collection by Ladies & Gentleman Studio

Antique Mirror Standing Gold Shelf Garth Roberts
Antique Mirror Standing Gold Shelf by Garth Roberts

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Quartz Terrarium by Score + Solder

x3 watering can by Paul Loebach
x3 Watering Can by Paul Loebach

Geometric Trivets & Stone Candleholders by Fort Standard

Crystal Ball vase by Mateo Zorzenoni

P0/0803 by Francois Azambourg

Meeting with the Today show peeps! YESSS!!!! This is happening!!!!

Delivery to the secret double doors at the Today Show back door

On set meeting with the producer….we’re on fire!!!!

Totally rocked the dress rehearsal!!! Ready to hit it with Kathie Lee and Hoda!

I’m styling my hair like Hoda’s bad hair day

Pre-show Green room cheer!!!!

And we’re on!! Talking Fall trends and Big hair…Hoda better watch out!!!

Toasting with flasks of whiskey….post dance off.

Success!!!!! Now who has the bigger hair???



Want to watch the show? click here


Thanks to everyone who came out! Hope you had a good time!
Click here to find the rest of the photobooth pictures.

It was all sunshine and palm trees last week in LA.Brooks stairsEscalating.2013-08-15 15.13.49Griffith.IMG_2173Golden.IMG_2085Boris.unicornMagic.wall1Street.

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This past Friday was Gretchen’s last day.  So we all headed to The Gutter after work for some beer and bowl.

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A bar with a bowling alley, The Gutter has authentic wooden lanes taken from a center in Ohio from the 70’s.  It’s a good time and coincidentally, Estelle and I met here.

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Goodluck Gretchen! Thanks for being such a great intern!

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