Christian Pentzold

Not infrequently, smart home imaginaries and installations are envisaged for nuclear families dwelling in detached houses fitted with the latest Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. In our article, we follow one approach to escape this powerful but inadequate projection that entails inviting people to imagine alternative forms of domestic IoT use. Surveying the setup of these nascent endeavors, in particular attempts that pivot on narrative accounts and forward-oriented fictions on the design of new habitats, we show how these seek to evoke visions of technologically supported cohabitation and everyday life. Due to their inclusive ambitions, such approaches face participatory predicaments that arise from the sought-after spontaneity and creativity within a purposive process. In response, all of them resort to methodological scaffolding that helps their designers to reconcile the tension between the idiosyncrasies embraced by the procedures and the overarching requirements of a particular exercise. The full paper can be read here.