Prototyping Things: Reflecting on Unreported Objects of Design Research for IoT

Nick Taylor, Jon Rogers, Loraine Clarke, Martin Skelly, Jayne Wallace, Peter Thomas, Babitha George, Romit Raj, Mike Shorter, Michelle Thorne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)
214 Downloads (Pure)


Prototypes and other ‘things’ have had many uses in HCI research— to help understand a problem, as a stepping stone towards a solution, or as a final outcome of a research process. However, within the messy context of a research through design project, many of these roles do not form part of the final research narratives, restricting the ability of other researchers to learn from this practice. In this paper we revisit prototypes used in three different design research projects, conducted over a period when the Internet of Things emerged into everyday life, exploring complex hidden relationships between the internet, people and physical objects. We aim to explore the unreported roles that prototypes played in these projects, including brokering relationships with participants and deconstructing opaque technologies. We reflect on how these roles align with existing understandings of prototypes in HCI, with particular attention to how these roles can contribute to design around IoT.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesigning Interactive Systems Conference 2021
PublisherACM Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450384766
ISBN (Print)97814503847662106
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2021
EventDesigning Interactive Systems Conference 2021 - Virtual Event, United States
Duration: 28 Jun 20212 Jul 2021


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleDIS 21
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Internet of Things.
  • Prototypes
  • design
  • research objects
  • research through design
  • things

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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