Skip to main content

Beautifying IoT: The Internet of Things as a Cultural Agenda

Part of the Internet of Things book series (ITTCC)

Abstract

As an IT research agenda, the Internet of Things 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. In HCI and related disciplines, aesthetics—when not outright dismissed as too subjective and/or confusing to engage—is commonly investigated as individual judgments about individual interfaces. This is a problem, because we know that technologies can produce ugly and unlivable environments at scale—from nuclear disaster sites to urban desolation caused in large part by the automobile. 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; after all, urban desolation didn’t happen because roads weren’t painted attractively, but because roads disrupted communities and their established ways of life. This chapter demonstrates that aesthetic theory provides concepts sufficient to engage matters of IoT aesthetics in precise and pragmatic ways. It does so by analyzing 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.

Keywords

  • Aesthetic Conventions
  • Zinc Alloy
  • Aesthetic Experience
  • Fruit Plate
  • Technology Agenda

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-94659-7_1
  • Chapter length: 19 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-94659-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Image Source no.30-inc.com

Fig. 3

Image Source no.30-inc.com

References

  1. Robertson, T., Koreshoff, T. L., Robertson, T., & Leong, T. W. (2013). Internet of things: A review of literature and products. OzCHI, 13, 335–344.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Wright, A. (2017). Mapping the internet of things. Communications of the ACM, 60, 16–18. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3028256.3014392.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Atzori, L., Iera, A., & Morabito, G. (2014). From, “smart objects” to “social objects”: The next evolutionary step of the internet of things. IEEE Communications Magazine, 52(1), 97–105.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Lingel, J. (2016). The poetics of socio-technical space. Chi, 16, 815–826.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Nansen, B., van Ryn, L., Vetere, F., Robertson, T., Brereton, M., & Douish, P. (2014). An internet of social things. In Proceedings of the 26th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Designing Futures the Future of Design—OzCHI ’14 (pp. 87–96).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Höök, K. (2015). Building Folkhemmet with the Internet of Things.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Freeman, G., Bardzell, S., & Bardzell, J. (2018). Bottom-up imaginaries: The cultural-technical practice of inventing regional advantage through IT R&D. In Proceedings of CHI’18: World Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM: New York.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bardzell, J., & Bardzell, S. (2014). ‘‘A great and troubling beauty’’: Cognitive speculation and ubiquitous computing. In G. Bell, P. Dourish, & J. Kaye (Eds.), Special issue on Science Fiction and Ubiquitous Computing. Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 18:779–794.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Bardzell, S., Bardzell, J., & Ng, S. (2017). Supporting cultures of making: Technology, policy, visions, and myths. In Proceedings of CHI’17: World Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York: ACM.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Freeman, G., Bardzell, J., & Bardzell, S. (2017). Aspirational design and messy democracy: Partisanship, policy, and hope in an Asian city. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW (pp. 404–416).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Bardzell, S., Rosner, D., & Bardzell, J. (2012). Crafting quality in design: integrity, creativity, and public sensibility. In Proceedings of DIS’12: Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 11–20). New York: ACM.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Boellstorff, T. (2008). The coming of age in second life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human. Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Boellstorff, T., Nardi, B., Pearce, C., & Taylor, T. L. (Eds.). (2012). Ethnography and virtual worlds: A handbook of method. Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Hine, C. (2000).Virtual ethnography. Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Horst, H. A., Miller, D., & Horst, H. (Eds.). (2012). Digital anthropology. Bloomsbury Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Miller, D., & Slater, D. (2000). The internet: An ethnographic approach. Bloomsbury Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Nardi, B. (2010). My life as a night elf priest: An anthropological account of world of warcraft. University of Michigan Press.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan. National Development Council, 2016. file:///Users/szu-yuliu/Desktop/The Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan (final-1)_上網版.pdf.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ferry, T. (2017). The 5 + 2 industrial innovation plan. Taiwan Business TOPICS, 2017. https://topics.amcham.com.tw/2017/05/52-industrial-innovation-plan/.

  20. Department of Urban Development Taipei City Government. 2010–2011 Annual Report. 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Miazzo, F., & Kee, T. (ed.). (2014). We own the city: Enabling community practice in architecture and urban planning. Valiz*Trancity.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Taipei City Government. Taipei Yearbook 2010. 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Taipei City Government. Taipei Yearbook 2012. 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Juan, Y., Kuo, F., & Perng, Y. (2012). Taipei beautiful: How does government policy affect architectural engineering? Advanced Building Materials, 461, 725–732.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Wei, L. L. (2014). Protest art and urban renewal in Taiwan: Convivial combats from 2010–2013.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Bardzell, S., Bardzell, J., & Ng, S. (2017). Supporting cultures of making: Technology, policy, visions, and myths.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Bardzell, S., Rosner, D., & Bardzell, J. (2012). Crafting quality in design: Integrity, creativity, and public sensibility. In Proceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference (pp. 11–20).

    Google Scholar 

  28. Lindtner, S., Bardzell, S., & Bardzell, J. (2016). Reconstituting the utopian vision of making: HCI after technosolutionism. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems—CHI ’16, May 2016 (pp. 1390–1402).

    Google Scholar 

  29. Bardzell, J., Bardzell, S., & Hansen, L. K. (2015). Immodest proposals: research through design and knowledge. In Proceedings of the ACM CHI’15 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Vol. 1, pp. 2093–2102).

    Google Scholar 

  30. Hartmann, J., Sutcliffe, A., & De Angeli, A. (2008). Towards a theory of user judgment of aesthetics and user interface quality. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 15(4, Article 15), 30 pp. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1460355.1460357.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  31. Gadamer, H.-G. (1986). The relevance of the beautiful and other essays (Trans.: N. Walker). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Eldridge, R. (2003). An introduction to the philosophy of art. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  33. Beardsley, M. (1981). Aesthetics: Problems in the philosophy of criticism (2nd ed.). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Folkmann, M. N. (2013). The aesthetics of imagination in design. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Balasubramanian, R., Gao, X., Hatakeyama, S., Hwang, J., & Tsai, C. (2017). Overview of the Special Issue “PM 2 . 5 in Asia” for 2015 Asian Aerosol Conference (pp. 351–355).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  36. World Health Organization. (2006). WHO Air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide: Global update 2005. Geneva: Switzerland.

    Google Scholar 

  37. World Health Organization. (2013). Health effects of particulate matter: Policy implications for countries in eastern Europe, Caucasus and central Asia. Journal of the Korean Medical Association, 50(2), 20.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Hsu, S. (2015). Cancers still main cause of death: Health ministry. Taipei Times, 2015. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/06/18/2003620986.

  39. Chen, L.-J., Hsu, W., Cheng, M., & Lee, H.-C. (2016). DEMO: LASS: A location-aware sensing system for participatory PM2.5 monitoring. In 14th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2016 (p. 98).

    Google Scholar 

  40. City Takes Action to Raise Awareness on PM2.5 Health Risks. Taipei City Government, 2016. http://tcgwww.taipei.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=168374269&ctNode=8472&mp=100002.

  41. Hsu, W. (2015). LASS: All and future. GitHub, 2015. https://github.com/LinkItONEDevGroup/LASS/blob/master/Doc/LASS-AllandFuture.pdf.

  42. . 2016. https://www.slideshare.net/tw_dsconf/ss-64077120.

  43. LASS Projects. LASS, 2016. http://lass-net.org/category/projects/.

  44. Dewey, J. (1980). Art as experience. New York: Perigee.

    Google Scholar 

  45. McCarthy, J., & Wright, P. (2004). Technology as experience.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Carroll, N. (2001). Beyond aesthetics: Philosophical essays.

    Google Scholar 

  47. . Initium Media, 2017. https://theinitium.com/article/20170308-city-design-tw-zinc-factory-brand-no-30/.

  48. , 2016. https://www.30.com.tw/article_content_32186.html.

  49. Office for Product Design. Giftware Range. 2017. https://www.officeforproductdesign.com/projects/GiftwareRange/.

  50. Margolis, J. (1980). Art and philosophy: Conceptual Issues in aesthetics. Branch Line.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Davies, D. (2005). Medium in art. In J. Levinson (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of aesthetics (pp. 181–191). Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Davies, D. (2013). Categories of art. In B. N. Gaut & D. Lopes (Eds.), The Routledge companion to aesthetics (pp. 224–234). Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Binkley, T. (1977). Piece: Contra aesthetics. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 35(3), 265–277.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  54. Tetra. no.30. http://no30-inc.com/product/tetra.

  55. . Shopping Design, 2016, 44–49. papers2://publication/uuid/C39872F0-5720-41C7-915B-F17BFF9F5CB6.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Bardzell, J. (2009). Interaction criticism and aesthetics. In Proceedings of the 27th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2357–2366).

    Google Scholar 

  57. Bardzell, J. (2011). Interaction criticism: An introduction to the practice. Interacting with Computers, 23(6), 604–621.

    MathSciNet  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shaowen Bardzell .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Bardzell, J., Bardzell, S., (Cyn) Liu, SY. (2019). Beautifying IoT: The Internet of Things as a Cultural Agenda. In: Soro, A., Brereton, M., Roe, P. (eds) Social Internet of Things. Internet of Things. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94659-7_1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94659-7_1

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-94657-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-94659-7

  • eBook Packages: EngineeringEngineering (R0)