I spent the german winter of 2018 at QUT in Brisbane, Australia as a visiting researcher. My goal was to reflect on the materiality of Internet of Things Toolkits, on which we published The Stories People Tell About the Home with wonderful collaborators Aloha Hufana Ambe, Alessandro Soro, Dries De Roeck, and Margot Brereton.
Stories on the home materialize in many different ways. Simple design scenarios of more efficient smart homes exist alongside more articulated design fictions narrating complex domestic futures. IoT toolkits can be used in co-design to narrate design stories together with people. However, there is little attention on the stories captured in the co-creation process. This paper presents a framework describing, comparing, and assessing design stories. We illustrate the framework through the comparison of the design stories captured from three divergent IoT toolkits in co-design workshops. Three dimensions characterize the design stories emerging from our inquiry: complexity (resolution and scope), likeliness (conceivability and feasibility), and implications (acceptability and consequentiality). This framework contributes towards understanding which properties of IoT toolkits support the emergence of what kind of design story. Our findings help designers to frame expectations when using IoT toolkits and to conceive IoT toolkits that support underexplored qualities of design stories.
Arne Berger, Aloha Hufana Ambe, Alessandro Soro, Dries De Roeck, and Margot Brereton. 2019. The Stories People Tell About The Home Through IoT Toolkits. In Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 7–19. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3322276.3322308