Products as Agents: Metaphors for Designing the Products of the IoT Age

N. Cila, Iskander Smit, Elisa Giaccardi, Ben Kröse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Design-based inquiries into the networked products of the Internet of Things (IoT) lack a coherent understanding of the effect of such products on society. This paper proposes a new taxonomy for networked products, which would
allow articulation on their current state and future, and provide insights to designers for creating meaningful and aesthetic products of IoT. Central to this framework is the proposition that our current product-scape should be
understood as a distribution of material agencies and best analyzed through the metaphor of “agency”. We identify three types of agencies, i.e., the Collector, the Actor, and the Creator, and discuss how this approach could create new design methodologies to create more meaningful
networked products that would empower people in their everyday lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computer Machinery
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4655-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventACM CHI 2017 - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017


ConferenceACM CHI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO


  • Internet of Things
  • networked products
  • agency
  • metaphor
  • interaction design


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