Design for Tangible, Embedded and Networked Technologies (TENTSig)

Track Chairs​

Lois Frankel
Carleton University, Canada

Thea Blackler
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Sarah Kettley
Nottingham Trent University, UK

This track will bring together practitioners, researchers, and designers who are exploring cultural practices and daily lives, catalysed, disrupted and managed through tangible, embedded, and networked technologies. We seek papers that reflect on the human experience of systems made up of everyday objects with the capability to monitor and collect data, and that make explicit the assumptions embedded in design and development processes. We welcome research which explores how material, sensorial, and participatory design research practices have the cultural potential to challenge the narrow vision of monitoring behaviour, and which open up the frame of design beyond the goals of ‘hyperfunctionality’. We welcome critical discussion on power relations, agency and experience as the focus of design shifts from discrete human-scale objects, to contexts for action and being, and the subsequent challenges this poses for research. Work framed through anthropology, sociology, psychology, and psychotherapy is particularly welcome.

Contributions may be theoretical or experiential, and may discuss case studies, tools, experiments, design
practices, life practices, visions, or fictions, highlighting:

  • interdisciplinary practices for designing thoughtful tangible, embedded, wearable or networked technologies
  • the perceptual availability of interfaces, controls and parameters for action to users in embedded systems, and rationales for visibility at different systemic and physical scales
  • impacts of tangible, embedded, or networked smart materials and technologies on human scale relations between individuals and/or within communities
  • challenges in co-creating long lasting tangible and networked people-product interactions that may shift or extend beyond the activities they are designed for
  • the research challenges of crafting networked and responsive artefacts that augment an inperson sense of social belonging

tentSIG is a Design Research Society special interest group. Members are interested in how tangible, embedded, and networked technologies are designed, and the human experience of physical and pervasive computing systems. Research themes include:

  • perceptual qualities of networked and embedded technologies, especially tangibility
  • development of design methodologies for new forms of objects and things
  • a focus on the person at the centre of future networks
  • mplications for ethics in design and technology

Join us on the tentSIG LinkedIn group

Indicative references

Cappelen B., Andersson, A. (2014). Designing four generations of ‘Musicking Tangibles’. In K. Stensæth (ed). Music, Health, Technology and Design. Centre for Music and Health, NMH-publications. Vol 8. pp. 1-20.

Kettley, S. (2011). Interrogating Hyperfunctionality. In P. Breedon (Ed.), Smart Design: First International Conference Proceedings. London: Springer. pp. 65-74.

Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books.

Van Dijk, J. and Hummels, C. (2015). Designing for Participatory Sensemaking. In Proceedings

11th International European Academy of Design Conference, 22-24 April 2015, Paris, France

Vines, J., McNaney, R., Clarke, R., Lindsay, S., McCarthy, J. et al. (2013). Designing For- and With- Vulnerable People. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp 3231-3234.