Demo Hour

DEMO HOUR: A Smartphone in the Nursery

Issue: XXVI.6 November - December 2019
Page: 8
Digital Citation
Bookmark and Share
Paulina Yurman

How can experiments in design explore the role of smartphones for mothers and young children? How can these designs be used to prompt conversations and explore potentials for change? This research used experimental and suggestive artifacts as conversational probes, inviting participants to interpret them and thus to tell of their own experiences using smartphones during childcare—practices that are often private and ridden with complexity. Informed by critical design, feminist, and psychoanalytic perspectives, the research engages with ambivalences toward the presence of smartphones in the world of mother and infant, portraying mothers as complex users of technology.

Yurman, P. A smartphone in the nursery. Proc. of the 4th Biennial Research Through Design Conference. 2019;

Yurman, P. Designing for ambivalence: Mothers, transitional objects and smartphones. Proc. of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, 2017.

Paulina Yurman, Goldsmiths, University of London

[email protected]

ins01.gif Uncanny Pet uses the metaphor of a sleeping pet to invite mother and child to take a break from the phone. It snores.
Herby is a phone on wheels that gets irritated when used as a toy, protesting "I am not a toy" or "Take me to your mum."