This is a Future Fiction piece in honor of Pride Month, exploring the future of gender, fashion, and homes in the context of a “content home” in 2030. Read the full text on Predict.
It has now been five years since I joined the Kilt House, and not a single boring day has gone by since the day I moved in. All together, we live in a whirlwind of work and pleasure and I am not even sure I can see a clear boundary between the two anymore. Because our main occupation is to produce images of leisure and share them for enjoyment purposes with our followers and clappers. The choice of our collab house’s name was quite straightforward — if I may say so. Because nothing in this home was anywhere close to straight. It was actually the beginning of the end of straightness. Not a single one of us could have been classified in the category formerly known as such. Nor in any of the capital letter acronyms that started to upset me — why would all of us fit in one extensive succession of initials? LGBTQIA+ acronyms, gender fluidity, and pansexuality had given place to the full-spectrum analogy which had been contested by other subgroups relating themselves as on-the-spectrum. And the old-fashioned rainbow wasn’t sufficient anymore, so that we became a “continuum” until we became just ourselves. No more categories. No more umbrella acronyms. Why would there be? What mattered was our uniqueness. Each of us had something to show, something to prove, something to display. An experience to share. A lifestyle to sell. At which point it made sense to unite our efforts under one roof. Around one pool. Around one translucid bar and a giant green phyto wall. Around one wooden desk — made of live wood since dead wood had been banned in interior design shortly before the home was designed. This lively piece of furniture was probably my favorite part in the home and the one where I spent most of my hours. A long circular desk where we’d all gather to discuss and envision and plan our next appearance. We would be contracted by fashion houses, home furniture designers, appliance manufacturers, biophilic carpentry manufacturers, pasta brands, gardening supply vendors, or consumer vee-nics (VR electronics) corporations to use and pose while using their latest products. I would never admit to my mates that I preferred our mise-en-scene of the zero-carbon-footprint pasta in a relaxed setting around the pool, than the stupid fashion headset with fake hair extensions that Prada made us wear. But Prada paid better than Barilla. So temporarily ignoring my Italian roots, I went where the money came from, or actually where our homeshare came from, as Gucci and Prada altogether possessed almost half of our villa. Gucci had just launched their third off-the-grid product line, with genderless snickers and econyl kilts when two friends of mine had launched the concept of the Kilt House. Content houses started to be in, and out. Friends or simili, living together in a luxurious loft setting, producing TikTok snaps, veenics shots, and pod.io games — that had become the new way of living following the Great Pandemic. Deciding to take this culture revolution to its next logical stage, my friends decided to create their own content villa. They did a wonderful job working with home designers to come up with the biophilic design which has made the place so special since then. Their next step had been to open the residence, the so-called Kilt House, for micro-influencers to join. I was a desperate one. I had had my share of instant fame as a top-notch Instagram influencer and the account owner of “Color-A-Day” — posting a random monochrome of Pantone color every morning, triggering my followers to share their best pictures with that dominant color during the day, and electing the best shot every evening with an acclaimed reposting on my account… Quite a push for the winner who would gain a couple hundred thousands viewers. But I knew this peak in my online reputation would be fading soon enough. Nomad in the streets of Rome, avid for glory, and looking for my next move, I applied to the Kilt House, sent my credentials, and was thrilled to be accepted as the fourth roommate of the residence. Kilt had been a quite unanimous symbol of the gender fluidity that connected us all, the unisex skirt that anchored us in a long-term tradition. Gucci, our first customer, or better qualified as our main “sponsor of the house” saw an explosion in kilts at the end of the pandemic. Black and white, unicolor or camouflage, malachite green and pastel ocean (elected Pantone colors of those first post-pandemic years), jeans or cotton, with pockets, stitches, or chains, a battledress for us to conquer the world. From there, the eighteen of us came up with creative ideas, topping each other each week, on how to best orchestrate the agender collection. I quickly became the imagery specialist, the lighting expert, the home director of photography. I work on image and coloration. On lights, highlights, and depth. I am to find the best backgrounds and contrasts for the samples the brands send us. And we are now representing over a hundred of them. Producing gigas and teras of veenics content. I had traded a couple hundred hours of Italian Renaissance Arts expertise for a training in Industrial Lights and Magics. I studied the effects of lighting and wavelength on moods. How grateful was I to receive a dozen edublocks from Pixar which helped me dig into lighting for increased emotions with lights and colors. I now feel confident enough to produce pictures that everyone of us can mentally color according to their sensibility. A genuine breakthrough. I love the idea that we can create a visual environment each of us is comfortable settling in, that there is not just one shade for each of us to contemplate. I spend a significant part of my days searching for the best palette to apply to our manufactured leisure settings. A couple of years ago the metallic trend was just emerging. Cloth designers had made evolutions to our old favorites — jeans and leather -, to integrate metallic components and silver reflections. They developed a patented fine texture baptized metacrylic which is a formidable material for me to work with in my sceneries. The market really took on and designers developed variations. Nowadays metacrylic comes in purple, neon pink, and turquoise. I have to admit that in our last VR production, the rendered effect of Gucci’s metacrylic kilt is splendid. Yesterday, a wave of vertigo swept through me as I watched my roommates wander in our mixed reality setting. For a moment they appeared to me as pure androids. My sense of reality is altered sometimes. I need to hold on to our live wood desk to stay connected with what is firm. A few years ago, all this imagery was pure science fiction, and now I live on a runway of models wearing metacrylic clothes, and all the new range of face accessories — biome beards, glasses with facial hair follicles, and antipollution earrings. What a colorful five-year journey it has been. What a wild ride in the highlands.