Researching IoT through Design: An Inquiry into Being-At-Home
Reddy, Anuradha (2020). Researching IoT through Design: An Inquiry into Being-At-Home. Malmö University.
Researching IoT through Design is a proposal for reworking how one might approach ubiquitous networked objects, or IoT, that no longer have stable and predictable uses – and to be-at-home with them in everyday life. This inquiry into being-at-home entails a shift from the idea of the home as a fixed, four-walled space for everyday routine separate from the outside world. It is instead replaced by a notion of the home as needing to be constantly re-sensitised to the wider world in which it is embedded. I argue the importance of securing a space for sensitisation, which forms the grounding of this study’s focus on participation, and the importance of referring to such spaces as ‘design’. Further, I show how delving into diverse participatory approaches in IoT can serve to make clear the conditions under which being-at-home can be explored. Derived from the practice of Research through Design, the notion of being-at-home is examined through critically-oriented design experimentation. It includes theoretical and methodological trajectories for ‘doing’ design, building on design anthropology, feminist technoscience, and posthuman discourses. The design experiments are conducted in three distinct design contexts, where each context gravitates towards one or more participatory approaches in IoT. Together, these experiments call into consideration the need for re-familiarising things as a way to reclaim the design space that has been lost to IoT’s optimising logics and values.