Audrey Desjardins-Webinar


DI Webinar – Audrey Desjardins, University of Washington

Reimagining Home Data Encounters

The Internet of Things (IoT) is promising new ways of ‘making home’—by connecting computational and interactive artifacts it automates services involving temperature, lighting, and security to support everyday activities. One of the leading challenges currently facing IoT is algorithmic transparency and accountability with regards to how IoT data are collected, what is inferred and who they are shared with. From a home dweller’s perspective, data may be available for review and reflection via graphs, spreadsheets, and dashboards (if at all available!).

In this talk, I instead argue for other modes of encountering IoT data: ways that are creative, critical, subtle, performative, and at times analog or fictional. By translating data into ceramic artifacts, performance and interactive installation experiments, fiction stories, imagined sounds, faded fabric, and even data cookies, I show a diversity of approaches for engaging data that might capture people’s attention and imagination. As a result, this work uncovers ways to make data more real, showing its messiness and complexities, and opens questions about how data might be interpreted, and by whom. This gives home dwellers critical tools for rethinking their own relations to home IoT data.


Audrey Desjardins is an interaction designer who speculatively and critically examines how people live with technology. She designs interactive artifacts and systems that reimagine the familiar co-existence of humans and things, often in the mundane space of a home. As a design scholar, she believes that the design and making of artifacts is a rich site of knowledge production. She designs to articulate questions, to propose alternatives and to provoke reflection.

Audrey is an assistant professor in interaction design, the director of Studio Tilt, and graduate program chair for the Master of Design at University of Washington, in the School of Art + Art History + Design, and adjunct assistant professor in Human Centered Design and Engineering. She holds a PhD and Master of Arts from the School of Interactive Arts + Technology at Simon Fraser University, and a bachelor degree in industrial design at Université de Montreal.

Twitter: @DesignerAudrey

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