In May, Anuradha Reddy joined IOTAP as PhD candidate in interaction design. Her main research interests lie at the intersection of autonomous technologies, interaction design and practice-based design research.
Anuradha, why is there such a strong interest in IoT?
IoT lends a strong vision for what the future holds and this has immediate implications for society and in shaping future practices. We should start by accepting that our lives are greatly driven by technologies embedded with intelligence. In this regard, designers, technologists and users play a crucial role in anticipating what such technologies are capable of. By working together, we can find alternate configurations for people and technology to co-exist through infrastructures of use, control and access within a socio-political landscape.
What is your research interest?
My research interests lie at the intersection of autonomous technologies, interaction design and practice-based design research. I find it rather imperative to employ design methods, focusing on the process of collaboration between both human and non-human entities to generate desired outcomes. These outcomes may not always solve problems or attain efficiency but potentially draw out unanticipated responses from participants involved in the design process, which ultimately resource the development of new technological artefacts.
Which IOTAP projects will you be involved in?
I will begin my PhD with the Interaction in the Smart Home project. This is an interesting starting point for exploring my interests within IoT research. To conduct this kind of research, I intend to set up a design space that unfolds a rich set of associations, movements and instances taking place in different kinds of homes. This might lead to a deeper understanding of how different people contextualize their living spaces as places for work or relaxation, for amusement or for worship. Each context involves different sensibilities and practices that cannot be merely reduced to a few design flows. My role would then involve employing design methods such as prototyping and participatory design to unpack these relationships and evoke new configurations between people and autonomous technologies in their homes.
Why did you want to come to Malmö University?
I applied to a PhD position here at Malmö University because I found that my interests strongly coincided with the research goals at the IOTAP center. Going forward, IoT poses several design challenges such as privacy, trust and interpretation that are crucial to address in the use of large-scale, interoperable systems. In addition, a combination of Malmö University’s focus on participatory design practices and IOTAP’s technical focus presents an exciting stage for conducting this research.