Call for Participation: DIS 2020 Remote Workshop – Designing for the End of Life of IOT Objects – July 13th/14th

The Internet of Things (IoT) and ubiquitous computing are leading to an increase in objects with a short lifespan. This leads to a surplus of material and e-waste that cannot or is not readily recycled, upcycled or otherwise reused, aggravating material scarcity. This virtual workshop will explore how the configuration of values (e.g., functional, emotional, sentimental and environmental) designed into IoT objects influences the end-user practices of disposal, recycling and upcycling after these objects become defunct or obsolete. Through this lens, we will consider potential design strategies that can be instilled during the process of design, to support the continuity of the material life of IoT objects after their “death”.

Specifically, by reflecting on our collective research and our personal relationships to the IoT objects that we own, we will address:

  • What types of value, beyond the functional and performative, compel people to keep, reuse or reimagine IoT objects after they no longer work?
  • What strategies can we use to design these values into IoT objects, to encourage end-of- life upcycling, appropriation and reuse?



We invite short submissions that address the workshop themes, as well as submissions that more broadly reflect on design for sustainable IoT, e-waste or recycling, reducing and reusing technology.

Submissions can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Traditional extended abstracts (max. 4 pages, excluding references)
  • Short design portfolios (max. 4 pages, PDF format, or web-based).
  • Pictorials
  • Speculative videos

Please direct submissions and any questions to


Key Dates 

Submission deadline: June 15, 2020

Acceptance notification: June 26, 2020

Camera ready versions due: July 6, 2020

Workshop: July 13-14, 2020



Susan Lechelt (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)

Katerina Gorkovenko (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)

Chris Speed (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)

James Thorp (Lancaster Institute Contemporary Arts and the Data Science Institute, Lancaster University)

Michael Stead (ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University)

Luis Soares (Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh)


More detail is available at ; Please direct submissions and any questions to


*Photo credit: Andres Urena*