Interaction Research Studio launches ProbeTools exhibition

When: Exhibition open 11th June – 12th August 2018, launching drinks reception Thursday 14th June 2018, 7pm

Where: Ace Hotel London, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ

You are invited to the exhibition of the Interaction Research Studio project ProbeTools!

ProbeTools are unconventional cameras and audio devices for user research. They’re easy to make, customise and use, and open-sourced so that designers and researchers can employ them in their own studies. ProbeTools are a design-led approach to engaging with settings aimed at producing inspiration rather than information. They involve presenting people with open-ended, even absurd tasks in the hope that their responses will provide fragmentary illumination of their lives, thoughts, hopes and fears. The exhibition will be held in the Lobby of Ace Hotel London and is free entry. RSVP to j.molinera[@]


“Prototyping the Idiotic City” Conference/Workshop, 5 June

Where: Goldsmiths, RHB 137
When: Tuesday 5 June 2018, from 9:30AM to 4:30PM

Register for a free place

Alison Powell, London School of Economics Gyorgyi Galik, Royal College of Art, London/Umbrellium) Jennifer Gabrys, University of Goldsmiths
Mike Michael, University of Exeter
Noortje Marres, CIM, University of Warwik
Ola Söderström, University of Neuchâtel
Uriel Fogué, ESAYA, UEM

CISP & Fondecyt N°1180062

In recent years, the notion of smartness has gained pervasive prominence in various spheres of social life and the ways that cities can be known, planned and governed. Data collection is now enabled through embedded sensors and devices in urban space, particularly in the development of the Internet of Things. Autonomous mobility and other smart city initiatives make cities appear to be manageable and controllable in (near) real-time through smart analytics and dashboards. In developing these innovations, new modes of laboratorization and experimentation are deployed in order to test technological ‘solutions’. Against the grain of a sterile technotopia proposed by the smart city, we want to problematize the various kinds of smartness that are programmed and inscribed into this debate, as well as question the newness of it. What, in other words, are the failures and breakdowns that slow down and counteract the supposed smoothness of the smart city? Through a one-day workshop we invite researchers to creatively incorporate the “murmur of the idiot” (Stengers, 2005) into situations in which new relationships with our ‘smart’ surroundings can be built.

During the event, each presenter discusses an idiotic object or situation. Each speaker, together with the audience, will then try to further the idiocy of other speakers cases.

Organising committee

Michael Guggenheim (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Martin Tironi (School of Design, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Liam Healy (Goldsmiths Design PhD student)

Fabian Namberger (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Full schedule of the day can be found on the Goldsmiths website.

Book on Interaction Research Studio project “Energy Babble” now available


The Energy Babbles are a set of computational devices that act “like automated talk radios obsessed with energy”: they recount energy policy announcements and information on demand and production, remarks about energy conservation made on social media, and comments entered by other Babble users. The devices were designed by Goldsmiths’ Interaction Research Studio in collaboration with STS researchers, and the story of their development is now available in a book published by Mattering Press. You can download the PDF online for free, or buy a paperback copy (link on the Mattering Press website).