The other day, I was on Instagram when I discovered a new page in my feed. It was a suggested post from @tinyhouseperfect. It seemed to be taunting my frustrated desire for a place of my own. I want to own a house, but don’t have the means to buy one right now. But what if it was a tiny perfect house? One that was small and perfect?
I started clicking through the reading nooks and chef’s kitchens of the tiny homes. Each home was rendered by A.I. software. I had been fantasizing about a fantasy.A.I. homes have emerged in recent years, along with many design services and apps like SofaBrain and RoomGPT. They churn out images customized to your preferences.
The whole A.I. dream-house economy has emerged. The A.I. homes just make the unreality of homeownership explicit. In the virtual market, the supply is endless and the key is always in the lock.
Housing voyeurism has always encouraged psychic projection. The modern version encourages viewers not to live in a mansion, but to bring it under personal financial and aesthetic control. A.I. only enhance this sensation of ownership, making a dream house built just for us, making a fantasy feel real.
The house that caught my eye was the “loch house” on @tinyhouseperfect. It came from nowhere but it was crowded with design touches synced to my Instagram and Pinterest feeds. I thought of it as remote, but it came from nowhere, or everywhere, synced to those of my internet browsing.
In the digital world of flat design, the results are often banal. The A.I. decor that surfaces on Instagram often features the same uncanny images. The flattening of design affects the homes of the wealthy, every property on “Selling Sunset” feels laser-cut from the same blueprint.
The loch house was created by an A.I. program in Norway and posted to Instagram. It was built using A.I. software and Photoshop. I spoke with the designer, who sees A.I. as a form of collective imagination.