Design Research Portfolio
“Debris” focuses on what is left behind by our daily interactions with non-human agents, providing arts-infused lenses to investigate and help untangle our complex relationships with smart systems. The installation includes 8 pieces by the artists (Daria Loi & Heather McGeachy), alongside physical evidence of the design and ethnographic practice used to ground, inspire, and create them.
Challenge: Creative endeavors taken on by researchers show promise in providing a new lens by which to analyze and translate findings. This work investigates what is left behind by human interactions with non-human agents, with an emphasis on smart home assistants. This work was completed by two researchers in collaboration.
Process: 1. Researchers each conducted 4 interviews with smart home assistant users by including hands-on cultural probes to initiate conversations. 2. each researcher created one art assemblage inspired by participants and scaffolded by related data.
Outcome: The final installation of all artefacts was displayed and analyzed at EPIC 2019. Further analysis of the artefacts as a whole, provided new insights as to common sentiments to smart home assistants that has been valuable in guiding innovation. Each art assemblage is an analog portrait of the relationship between each participating individual and their smart system. The collection of exhibited artefacts represent the fragments left behind by human interactions with non-human agents, as experienced by the researcher. They are reflections, re-connections, and re-discoveries of human-non-human hybrid landscapes. Installation included: 8 art assemblages (2 per participant), Probe kit, photos and artefacts collected during interviews, Field notes and written reflections by researchers
My Role: I was a primary researcher in the project, I planned and conducted all research, constructed the artwork analysis, installed the artefacts at EPIC 2019 and collaborated on resulting thematic analysis.