* Roberto Palomba is an architect and a designer. He is co-founder of Palomba Serafini Associati
Apparently the prophetic Andy Warhol once said that someday we would all be famous for 15 minutes. Today, thanks to social media, it is really happening. With a mobile phone or tablet as the physical extension of our body, and our existence, we might be at the dawn of a new human evolution. No longer limbs, jaws, postures that adapt to the environment; like the myth of the centaur, we will become an inseparable fusion of technology and biology. Half material, half digital.
The goal of all this seems to be communication, connection, exchange. So after we have designed the home of Homo Sapiens, what will the den of Homo Connectus be like? What will be the indispensable elements, in domestic and public space, for the now inevitable dualism of the physical and the immaterial?
The lockdown turned us all into domestic stage builders
During the lockdown, like everyone else, I connected with friends and family. At first I paid little attention to the backdrop, aware of the fact that the inevitable weight gain was filling up at least part of the screen. A few days later, imitating the experienced influencers, I chose a suitable corner in which to set up a light and a filter, to make real sets. So in the future, will we have a home-stage that imitates reality, as in a theater? I doubt it. Instead, I think there will be an inevitable fusion. It took a far from friendly virus to make this clear: today we are all influencers. It doesn’t matter how many followers we have: each of us is part of the noise of the global village. And in fact news – real or fake – hits the feeds of the social networks before it reaches the official organs of the press and television.
Being influencers means sharing our “experiences,” from baking a cake to housekeeping or politics and finance. The less you try to sell a fake image, the better the game works. If you want to “sell” yourself on the social media, you cannot tell lies, because millions of people are out there, ready to unmask your deceit.
Designing Paolo Stella's home was staging his passions
The rule also applies to the home, which now becomes an extension of the personality of its inhabitant. From real life to hyper-reality. We recently designed the home of Paolo Stella, a major Italian lifestyle influencer. He is a genius of communication: social creative director, web strategist and a successful writer. He fully represents the figure of the new digital human, eternally connected, especially during lockdown. Blocked, “caged” in the home we designed for him.
Knowing him well, to design his house we thought about expanding his story and his passions into the space. We even designed wallpaper in which the phrases of his first book are hidden amidst images of animals and plants. A personal gesture in which each figure or phrase narrates a piece of his life. We hid details unbeknownst to him, so he could have fun finding them all. The rooms, passages and chromatic variations do not narrate an aesthetic, but a state of mind. The bathroom and kitchen have been designed to be the ideal setting in which to teach people how to mix drinks, or the best beauty routine. And then there is lots of sharing. Certain choices, like those of the colors, were left up to Paolo’s fans.
I was a bit scared of this at first, but then I saw that even people who have nothing to do with the world of interior design were expressing opinions and comments that were anything but banal. Needless to say, after 40 days of stories, posts and reposts, his house has become the new model of reference, and hundreds of people write every day to send their compliments or ask for advice.
How to create the perfect home for social media broadcasting
Since to some extent we have foreseen this, here are a few rules for the “hyper-home” of the new influencers.
1. Know thyself. You don’t need villas and palaces if you have a unique story to tell. If your home has to talk about you, learn to be positive so the story you tell will always been fascinating.
2. Variations on a theme. Find a mood, a red thread, and interpret it in space so you can make multiple corners and settings, increasing your opportunities to be consistent without being boring.
3. Shed light on yourself. If you want to live your life on screen, remember that only cats can see in the dark. Good natural lighting and optimal artificial lighting (bilateral, if possible) can help to shed light on the best aspects of you.
So take a deep breath, give us your nicest smile, and we’re on the air!
In the cover photo by Emanuela Proietti Paolo Stella inside the bed Alys, designed by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti for B&B Italia.