Comprehensive R&D project for OS “around the house”– new UI and structure design

HEMS OS, New UX of consumer electronics, etc.,
2012/03 - 07, with Homebuilder company

Total direction for modern house R&D project;
our work ranged from researching, making concept
and scenario to OS and UI design.


Reinterpretation on the factors of “the modern house”.


The R&D project of OS ended up with reinterpretation
on the factors of “the modern house”.

This project which aims at developing the core of the house – home OS, was launched in March in 2013.
This OS was mainly divided into 3 functions, and our team presided over almost all processes.
— When we started this project, we must need to take account into various factors. Because, the “modern house” does not only means physical accommodation anymore, but also, include ongoing issues such as, energy flow, home appliances, furniture, and family members living in there.
However, home OS did not exist at that time, and this project veers in a different direction with some design projects which extend existing gadget such as car navigation system. Therefore, we were expected to establish fundamental idea and method besides designing products in order to response the modern plasticity which is becoming more multifaceted.

  • TOUCH Energy

    “Touching energy”

  • gaux™

    New UX standard for home electronics

  • famility

    For family members


Focus on the realms outside the physical “house itself” daringly.


What is the definition of the “modern house”?
What kind of factors does constitute house?

In the “modern house”, multiple layers are obviously mixed up. They varied from construction material to movable assets such as home electronics and furniture, infrastructure energy like electronics, water and gas, and the family including their pets. Energy management system which only makes home energy flow visible is not enough to be called, “home OS”.
In order to create “the core of house”, we built up three viewpoints.

One is from energy, the second focuses on “function” surrounding homes, and the last one is human – that is, community. Since the OS is implemented after the house is built, we did not cover the side of construction, but defined the house as a box and concentrated on intangible factors so as to maintain the applications’ flexibility. This decision will make enduring and universal even though the “house itself” will change in the future.


Our flow / Process

In our department, after we paint a scenario / direction throughout above process, a research list is examined, and move into from practice, output, and showcasing the products.


Script & Research

Scenario / Script / Research

Reinterpretation on the house

Reviewing the factors and problems of the “modern house” and design OS.



Architecture / Visualization method


Throughout painting scenario, we consider detailed structure and process. Simultaneously, a specific visualization approach is formulated.



UI・UX / Design practice

Design Ui of three softwares

After repeated trials, whole figure of UI is taking clear outline.



Presentation / Archives / Web, etc.

Showcase products on exhibition and producing archive film.

Covering archive and events after constructing images.


Research process

Besides general design research – like reviewing basic techniques – we have characteristic approaches.
When we start our research, we delve into the history of the theme. The primal meaning and role of the products is examined in here. Rewinding to the origin of the products, we speculate the alternative vision which the objective possibly traces.
In this project, we retraced the history of each home appliance. Our society is built upon “the line of history as an accumulation of accidental events”.
Also, – nonetheless this is almost our routine, – we bring a case which seemingly occupies similar structure from different realms, and compare these models by abduction.

Process of “reinterpretation on the modern house.”

We arrange various elements associated with the modern house. Juxtaposing these elements which vary from CEMS, solar panel, automobile, buttery, to “information around the modern house”, palpable conclusion will be led. This process is employed in representation as well.

History of the home electronics.

We clarify the historical background of each home electronics and the multifariousness of modern society in depth.
Our research initially focused on the transition of design, yet it ends up with a hypothesis that we need to review “the classification between function and home electronics.

Practice in Architecture and Visualization

Three projects' structure

We design in both architecture and conduct visual expression “literally” in parallel instead of approach rather than proceeding neither a language nor an expression independently. This perspective can contribute to elevate the unity of ideas.


A dialog with the house
– an experience “interacting with the house”
–”TOUCH Energy”.

This project started with unraveling the question : “what kind of factors constitute the house?”
“TOUCH Energy” is a software developed especially in order to reexamine the house from the viewpoint of energy consumption, and to provide “direct interplay with house” (the inherent impossibility) incorporating HEMS (= Home Energy Management System) technically which was gaining attention in the market. In addition to visualize function, this application is implemented a controller for every electronic devices.
Given the expectations of the spread of HEMS, we, also, customized this application with a control panel of home solar panel / EV (Electric Vehicle) charging / sharing the energy within the community.

Which comes first a function or an action?
Fundamental reconsideration on user interface of home appliances.
– gaux™

gaux™ is a project concentrating on reexamining whole experiences of consumer electronics.
For the proliferation of various home electronics and operating order – we aimed at providing advanced standard.
In the beginning of this project, our focus started from questioning why the controllers of home electronics are, in a sense, inconsistent? Soon after the research, we reached deeper interpretation. What came up to our mind was one question; is the form of consumer electronics the most suitable for our modern life? – and what UX is going to be required for the next standard?

A software for family community
– famility

“Famility” – the last application developed in this entire project around the house - concentrates on “family-ty”. In other words, this application intends to maximize the communication of family.
For the development, we cannot be careful enough to design “the sensible details such as framing information or the way of alarm to maintain comfortable and delicate distance within family member”. That means, we always kept paying attention to “information and emotion”.
We concluded that family in which various generations is mixed and complex mode of communication is formed as a unique group that needs elaborated information media, feed, and architecture.


Macro architecture and micro design rules

TWhen the design patterns get diverse, we implement a moderate regulation at a certain level of stage. It ranges from the grid, typography or color code. Also, icons are published. Flexible switching from magnified viewpoints to detailed designs draw clear outline of the whole figure.

Grid System

Basic grid also plays an important role. Margin changes the facade of design in the case of UI as it does in book design.


As far as font, we employed AXIS, a compelling full Japanese / Latin font in order to response Japanese text.


We established three-dimensional gradation instead of a single color for the color code. We name this “energy gradation.”



Further development

The “ideas” conceived in this project’s process and the “visualization” reflected on this scheme will be fadeless for a long time.
Nevertheless this project is conducted in 2012, this software produced much more result than the accumulation of small design is supposed to do; for example, these products were consecutive showcased at HEMS fair for several years, and excogitation of wearable version.

When we design massive productions all in one gulp comprehensively and expeditiously, athletic attitude is expected in the realm of visual expression.


THIS PAGE IS DIRECTED BY VISUALIZATION Yumi Shimazu (THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.), Takuya Uemura (Life Long Kindergarten)
TEXT & TRANSLATION Yusuke Nishimoto (THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.)
A comprehensive R&D project for
Operation System(OS) “around the house“
Executive Direction THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.
Yumi Shimazu (THE EUGENE Studio Visualization Dept.), Shota Fujii (Life Long Kindergarten), Yosuke Chiai
VENUE Exhibition booth of Daiwa House Industry