Made-up Rubbish: Design Fiction as a Tool for Participatory Internet of Things Research

A newly published paper discusses the use of design fiction to understand trust in public space IoT

This paper describes the work carried out as part of the TrustsLens project, which investigated questions of transparency and trust when it comes to the ‘Internet of Things’; connected devices which can collect and share information.  In particular, we were interested in questions of privacy and data management when it comes to devices which are deployed in public spaces, for example those used in ‘smart city’ initiatives such as smart rubbish bins.

We worked with a particular community in Aberdeen who exemplify the type of groups which are often not included in decision making about such deployments, or who may not immediately see how such technologies are relevant to their lives. Using design fiction, we probed the impacts of these deployments and let participants explore the implications to decide what information they would insist on having available if devices like these were to be rolled out locally.

The results of this work will inform transparency of devices, and also transparency of governance process when they are deployed by public organisations such as local councils.

Full citation and link to article: Jacobs, N., Markovic, M., Cottrill, C. D., Edwards, P., Corsar, D., & Salt, K. (2020). Made-Up Rubbish: Design Fiction as a Tool for Participatory Internet of Things Research. The Design Journal, 1-22.