Ethnography of smart and sustainable houses: More than human participation and bottom-up innovations

Smart and sustainable housing promises effortless convenience while saving energy. In this ethnographic research project, I went out with a video camera into eleven homes that are automated to different degrees as part of the Dutch energy transition. Participants enacted and re-enacted their daily lives as they took me on a walkthrough of their homes. I also collected some slices of sensor data which could confirm or reject my ongoing interpretations of how people and technology live together. The analysis, using a more-than-human lens of co-performance centered around crises of routine: moments when residents did not know how to go on and reconfigurations: improvisations and non-standard solutions to those crises. The resulting insights include: a reappreciation of crises as potentially productive events which enable residents to appropriate and domesticate technologies. It also helped me articulate a more-than-human understanding of the interface as a match of people and technologies enacted in everyday life. I identify the creative solutions that residents came up with as bottom-up innovation that could help the energy transition in the Netherlands move forward. More insights and details can be found in the papers.

van Beek, E., Giaccardi, E., Boess, S., & Bozzon, A. (2023). The Everyday Enactment of Interfaces: A Study of Crises and Conflicts in the More-than-Human Home. Journal of Human-Computer Interaction

van Beek, E., Boess, S., & Bozzon, A., Giaccardi, E., (under review). Innovations-in-waiting: Practice Reconfigurations in and Beyond Sustainably Heated Households
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