As technologies become more and more complex, the tasks that they perform becomes masked in an effort to make them more usable. However, what’s lost with this masking is the ability to understand how they work and the role that they play in our lives. This is especially worrisome with connected objects that have the additional capabilities of harvesting data from people and for its connectivity to the Internet.  This leads to overconsumption, disposability, and ethical concerns.

This research project is the PhD research of Holly Robbins and considers how we can change the relationship that we have with connected objects and people. It uses traces as a design approach to engage people in the task the technology performs as well as in situating the technology in our lives. Traces have the potential to communicate the relationship between person and object which occurs with both digital and physical materials. This has implications for ethics as well as sustainability.

PhD Topic of: Holly RobbinsProjects a part of this PhD Research: Mizu, IoT Manifesto

Holly Robbins

Outreach / Activity


    • 2016. Design United Workshop: Im/materials (Holly Robbins, Elvin Karana, Elisa Giaccardi / TU Delft)
    • IoT Manifesto Workshops