Discovery VI: An Internet of Social Things

tldr; Report on an Internet of Things devices you haven’t seen before and are directly relevant to your final project on Social Objects. Share the example as a new Post in the #discoveries channel on Slack.

Outcomes: View Now

Learning Objective

The first phase of your project is planning. This is a quick assignment designed to help you gather some inspirational resources and assets you’ll need to complete it. As part of this exercise you’re going to search for creative precedents and report back on what you find. Together, we’ll develop a large database of design approaches to inspire our work in this project.

The goal is to broaden your understanding of the field and deepen your knowledge of prior work that’s relevant to this project and to the course. You’ll be expected to select a couple of works and report on your findings with a critical perspective.

By the end of this exercise, students will:


Having developed a shared understanding of the role objects play in relationships, as well as ambient, embodied and tangible devices, you are to seek out and report on an IoT project that explores these ideas. It must be something you haven’t seen before, is relevant to the project at hand (i.e. matches the criteria), and could be used inform your design approach

Brief: Identify and report on an ambient/embodied/tangible strategy for bringing individuals or groups together through connected experiences (i.e. enhancing relationships with objects)

The emphasis here is on discovery. That means, choosing a project introduced in the course material, as a precedent in the project brief or that you already know defeats the purpose.

Explore design concepts, artistic works, news sites, blogs, aggregator, as well as conferences, journals and scientific papers to find exciting examples of the Internet of Things vision. This could equally be a historical example which informed the kinds of products and scenarios we encounter today, a breakthrough product which has had impact or influence, a current and state-of-the-art consumer device, a cutting edge research prototype, or a speculative proposal for a future device. There’s also no constraints on the sources or places you can look but some starting points are listed below.

A Note As part of your creative project you are expected to include a section in your documentation on Context. This section will ask you to provide a short write up of your outcome as it relates to:

  1. theory, concepts and ideas introduced through the course and
  2. research, artists, and examples of prior work that inform your approach.

This exercise will help you begin to prepare this section.


Submitting your work:

Create a Post in the #discoveries channel on slack (see this guide on submitting your work for discovery exercises.

Important: Title your post with the name of the project and include the following label at the end for grading purposes “#socialthings” e.g. My example name #socialthings

In the post, embed a video and/or images of the project, and write a short critical reflection on the project (about 200 words) in which you:

Note: Create a separate post for each example.

Note: Follow the instructions carefully as these projects require you to follow the posting instructions to receive full grades.

Places to start looking

By no means an exhaustive list! You should explore beyond these!

Online Aggregators and new Sites

Conferences and Research

Labs and Agencies