Designing Energy Experiments: Scripting Ambiguity and Curiosity in a Research Device

Ovalle, Liliana. 2016. 'Designing Energy Experiments: Scripting Ambiguity and Curiosity in a Research Device'. In: Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (EASST/4S). Barcelona, Spain 31 Aug - 3 Sept 2016. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This paper explores and reflects on the design process of the 'Energy Babble' research device - an interactive and networked audio system for mediating energy-related content - focusing on the emergence of it's visual and material properties. The Energy Babble played a key methodological role in the 'Energy and Co-Designing Communities' project, an interdisciplinary engagement between STS scholars and design researchers, where it was deployed amongst a number of UK-based local energy communities to explore, understand and reframe the 'problems' and cosmopolitics associated with UK carbon reduction policy instruments. The paper highlights and reflects on the key design stages of the research device as part of the process of defining the material/visual form of the device and, by complicating Akrich's notion of 'script', the paper describes how ambiguous and playful energy scripts intermingled with the rigidity of the devices' 'technical' requirements. The paper concludes by discussing the role of material practices and aesthetic expertise in generating (or not) non-instrumental community participation with energy experiments.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Design > Interaction Research Studio



Event Location:

Barcelona, Spain

Date range:

31 Aug - 3 Sept 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

20 Feb 2017 10:13

Last Modified:

01 Aug 2018 14:22


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