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Beyond Human-Centred Design: Supporting a New Materiality in the Internet of Things, or How to Design When a Toaster is One of Your Users

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>The Design Journal
Issue number5
Volume20
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)561-576
Publication statusPublished
Early online date16/08/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper challenges the assumption that humans should naturally be given primacy over non-human actors in the design process. New technological capabilities are starting to give non-human actors (e.g. networked objects) decision-making ability, thereby allowing for an active form of agency. This move will only grow in sophistication in the future and has the potential to be profoundly disruptive to both the design process and wider society. Using Donald A. Norman’s fundamental characteristics of user-centred design, ideas informing the Internet of Things, and philosophies around New Materialism, this paper argues that the fundamental assumptions that underpin the act of designing need to be reassessed.