STBY at ThingsCon19

On December 12 we went on a field trip to Rotterdam to participate in ThingsCon19. STBY was invited to give a talk about the role of design research in developing human-centric Internet Of Things (IoT) applications. The format we suggested was an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session about Design Research in practice. 

What stood out during this interesting event was the diversity of the audience. We were happy to meet people from many different disciplines and sectors coming together to share their perspectives on this emerging field. It was a very vibrant day, with presentations, workshops, discussions and demonstrations.

The ThingsCon conferences are organized by ThingsCon – a global initiative to explore and promote the development of fair, responsible, and human-centric technologies for the IoT and beyond. Already since 2014 they organize events, and create resources and tools for a diverse community of practitioners to promote ethical, considerate, responsible and human-centric practices across IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning and related technology with a human impact.

During the conference, questions were raised about the benefits of IoT for our societies. For example, one of the speakers of the track STBY participated in was Sarah Kiden from the OpenDOTT research team at the University of Dundee. Sarah shared her exploration into possibilities for small-scale local IoT technologies and how communities and neighbourhoods can be supported in making the best use of them. 

STBY’s session focused on design research as a way to bring the voices of the users to the centre of the innovation process. We shared some basic design research methodologies for stepping into the shoes of the people we design for, and then discussed with the participants how design research helps to investigate opportunities for IoT technologies, to make sure they deliver a meaningful contribution to the everyday lives of people.

We are excited to be part of the ThingsCon community of thinkers and makers. Keen to keep on co-creating a shared vision and principles  to guide a responsible development of IoT technology. Let’s shape this technology as a society rather than letting the technology shape us!

Watch this aftermovie to get a sense of the day.