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Redesigning future visions for the sustainable smart home

Primary supervisor

Yolande Strengers

Research area

Emerging Technologies

This project aims to understand how to design smart home technologies that enable more sustainable digital lifestyles through the visions and practices they promote. The scope includes a range of potential methods, such as ethnographic research with people who live in or use smart home technologies, cultural probes, human-computer interaction design experiments, and/or design fictions.

The project is intended to go beyond conventional ways of conceptualising and approaching sustainability in relation to new technologies, which have commonly included providing information or feedback about the environmental footprint and impact of the devices or household, or making devices more energy-efficient. In contrast to these approaches, this project will investigate how to embed and promote more sustainable lifestyles with and through emerging smart home technologies, or the Internet of Things (IoT). A key focus will be on the lifestyle visions that these existing technologies already promote, such as "pleasance", self-sufficiency or hygge (Danish comfort/ cosiness). As such, this project provides a critical analysis of conventional understandings of sustainability in relation to the smart home and its potential benefits for environmental and energy goals. It will produce new knowledge about how to embed more sustainable lifestyle visions into the design of emerging home technologies.

Required knowledge

Degree in a social science, science and technology studies or human-computer interaction design discipline.

Learn more about minimum entry requirements.