Understanding the Internet of Things as a Cultural Agenda
As an IT research agenda, the Internet of Things (IoT) is often framed according to technical and economic issues, such as protocols, standards, job-creation potential, etc. We argue that IoT also constitutes a cultural and aesthetic vision, that is, a projected image of urban- or region-scale beauty, in which lives are pursued in more meaningful and fulfilling ways than before. Aesthetic IoT is not a matter of making device surfaces more pretty, but of thinking deeply about the ways it will shape how we live. In this project, we analyze a policy intended to beautify a major city in Asia alongside aesthetic interpretations of two design initiatives contemporaneous with it: an agricultural IoT project that proposes a computationally enabled new intimacy between humans and their land, and a kitchen design company that innovates not only on manufacturing materials but also on the aesthetic conventions needed for consumers to recognize those material properties as beautiful.
Increase consumer adoption and acceptance of IoT devices by reflecting their cultural values and regional needs.
Support cultures of making, hacking, DIY, and crowdsourcing to encourage product ownership, expand product lifespan, and reduce consumer waste.
Advocate for traditionally underserved and marginalized communities to support inclusion, accessibility, and social justice.
Shaowen Bardzell, Jeffrey Bardzell (both research managers).
Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, and Szu-Yu (Cyn) Liu. (2018). “Beautifying IoT: The Internet of Things as a Cultural Agenda”. Social Internet of Things. Alessandro Soro, Margot Brereton, and Paul Roe (ed.). Springer.
*This project was funded by the National Science Foundation (US) and the Ministry of Education, Taiwan.