Today is “Cyber Monday”—the day that we launch Phase 1 of the PitchTop platform. On this, gloriously long awaited day, we are releasing the first incarnation of a product that we refer to as “The Catalog”.
The catalog is simple: it’s a visual lookbook of modern products carefully selected by our team for what they tell us about who we are and where we are going. Each week, we will present you with a themed collection of products, some of which you can buy directly on our site—sometimes in ways that you can’t get anywhere else (You’ll want to stay tuned for more about this).
This week’s theme, “The Future of the Bedroom”, could not be more appropriate for our inaugural collection. First, the bedroom is a place that the PitchTop team misses very much, given that we’ve been working around the clock towards this launch—the idea of sleep seems like a beautiful fiction right now. Secondly, the modern bedroom is one of the most overlooked, yet profound representations of humankind’s progress to date. It demonstrates the privileges of being a 21st century human being, and it has a lot to say about society. Lastly, the bedroom is the place where true miracles take place. It is the place where we spend the most time in our lives. It is the place where we were conceived. It is the place where we dream.
The bedroom seems like a simple, even mundane concept. It is a six sided space (four walls, floor, and ceiling) that merely contains one’s bed, clothing, small valuables and sentimental items, and basic ingenuities to create a comfortable atmosphere (central heating, venetian blinds, ceiling fans, etc.). It contains some mild self-expression, such as wall art, books, and music collections (that preceded the cloud, anyway). It is the most likely place to find our personal symbols of triumph: trophies, medals, diplomas, old photographs. It is where we recharge when we’re exhausted, where we heal when we’re sick, and it is where we can be truly free: to experiment with how to present ourselves, to practice what we are going to say, to transform from well mannered civil people into outlandish dance machinery with audiences of none.
Bedrooms haven’t always been a thing. In Medieval times, people slept in open halls together on mattresses made out of hay, hence why we say “hit the hay”. Nobles would sleep together in a room on a floor above servants and commoners, occasionally extending the privilege to others to sleep in their common quarters. When individual bedrooms first began to appear, they served multiple civil and social purposes—such as ritualistic dressing ceremonies and centers of diplomacy. The bedroom only became a place just for sleeping in the 19th century, and it evolved in parallel with the concept of privacy itself.
The bed itself was once a symbol of great wealth. It was literally the most expensive and cherished possession that a family owned, and they would pass beds on from generation to the next. Today, as much as we love our beds, they are one of the most basic of commodities. You can tap your phone a few times and have the most comfortable surface that modern technology can provide, delivered to your doorstep the next day in a cardboard box.
Today, any semblances of communal living are fading into the distant past, and the notion of sleeping without a bed is left to recreational outings—our weekend micro-doses of nature. Yet as we leave behind very unprivate and uncomfortable histories, the bedroom is becoming an increasingly confused space.
On the one hand, it’s never been more normal and more possible to completely isolate yourself from the world. Within the confines of my bedroom, I can learn pretty much anything I need to know about the world or read, watch or listen to almost any creative or academic work. I don’t have to leave my room to do my banking, hire a maid, or even buy my groceries. Simple machines can make me the perfect cup of tea, or keep the thermostat dialed for maximum comfort. I don’t even have to answer the doorbell anymore. When 3D printing matures, I won’t have to open the door at all—if I need a new backscratcher, I’ll just download and print it off the internet. There’s never been an easier time to be alone.
From the looks of things, it seems that maybe the bedroom is not meant to be a place to escape from the harshness of the outer world. Maybe the outer world is simply an inconvenience that we’re only tolerating until the bedroom fulfills its true destiny as a place that we’ll never have to, nor ever want to leave.
On the other hand, in order take advantage of the modern marvels of autonomy, you must expose your every behavior to someone, somewhere, at some point in time. The days of quietly reading geeky sci-fi or belting out disco tunes without anyone ever knowing about it are numbered—thanks to webmasters, ISPs, and government spooks. At minimum, our everyday actions are logged as data, destined to be mined and analyzed to satiate the curiosities of some future people.
And so, the bedroom’s origins as a bastion of privacy are beginning to unravel. How will that change us and are the trade-offs worth it? This is all fodder for great debates, which we can surely wage from within the perfectly tuned and personalized comforts of our modern bedrooms.