Rob Collins


Sentient House


The Sentient House project is an investigation into approaches that the artist-designer can take to better involve the public in developing a critical perspective on pervasive technology in the home and the surrounding environment. Using Interaction Design approaches including workshops, surveys, rapid-prototyping and critical thinking, this project suggests a framework for developing a more participatory atmosphere for Critical Design.

As the world becomes more connected, and ‘smarter’, citizen’s concerns are being sidelined in favour of rapid progress and solutionism. Many of these initiatives are backed by government and commercial concerns who may not have the public’s best interest at heart.

The designs and approaches generated from this public participation seek to provide an outlet for a more agonistic debate and to develop tools and approaches to engage the public in questioning and addressing how technology affects them in the future. The outcomes of this research suggest that the public is receptive to a more active involvement in designing their digital future, and that the designer can be a critical component in revealing hidden consequences and alternative pathways for a more transparent and desirable future.

Rob Collins