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Methodological innovations and challenges of research on digitally connected homes

17.08.2021 22:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Special Issue in Digital Creativity

Deadline for abstracts: October 4, 2021

The past few years have seen a rapid increase in the number and variety of technologies embedded in and passing through home environments. Researchers increasingly recognize the distinct nature of the home as a site of research. The past four decades have seen a significant shift in the technology environment from the “media home” (Spigel, 2001) to the “smart home” (Woods, 2021). We have seen significant additions to the abundant digital ecology of the home, increasing the number of digital access-points and available services, and intensifying the data-circulation in connected homes. The home is a site of mundane, private, usually hidden but highly significant everyday practices (Pink et al. 2017). Yet it is also increasingly becoming a part of national healthcare infrastructures through the deployment of welfare technologies, and energy policy through smart meters. During the “global lockdown” caused by the Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, technologies took a prominent role as the home transformed itself into a site in which activities such as learning, parenting, work, entertainment, and remote medical care intermingled.

The increasing complexity of the digital infrastructures and the experiences, spaces, visions of the home in a current era of connected homes and connected living pose particular challenges for conducting research in such an environment. This also calls for methodological innovations that shape how we see the home as a research site and how we engage with it.

For this special issue, we invite contributions that make a strong methodological contribution by highlighting the innovations and challenges of conducting research on technology in home environments. Papers could, for example:

  • Explore cross-disciplinary methodological approaches in a project related to the connected home.
  • Develop an innovative methodological framework or research design to address a specific research challenge concerning the technologically connected home.
  • Apply new and emergent forms and sources of digital data from the connected home.
  • Describe and evaluate research tools and techniques.

Submissions may cover issues such as:

  • Participatory and co-design approaches to research related to the home
  • Novel ways of capturing, visualizing and analyzing digital infrastructures and data connected to the home
  • Multisensory and multimodal approaches to studying technologies in the home
  • Narrative methods for researching and designing in the home
  • Negotiating relationships between researchers, research participants, and technologies in the home
  • Ethical dilemmas related to methods for studying technology in the home
  • Interventions as a research method to study technological practices in the home
  • Probing and elicitation techniques for uncovering practices with technology in the home

Submissions Requirements: Submission to this special issue is a two-stage process. Authors interested in contributing are invited to submit an extended abstract (500 words) for review. Please email abstracts directly to the editors listed below. Authors whose abstracts are accepted will then be invited to submit a full paper (up to 7000 words). Full papers will be double-blind peer-reviewed for acceptance into the special issue.

Upon acceptance of the abstract, you will be sent further authors’ guidelines based on the Digital Creativity guidelines (Instructions for Authors) at Note that acceptance of abstract alone does not imply acceptance for publication in the journal. The extended abstract should include the following information: 1) Name of author(s) with email addresses and affiliation, if applicable 2) Title of the paper 3) Body of the abstract 4) Preliminary bibliography 5) Author(s)’s short bio(s)

Guest Editors: Henry Mainsah, Emma Slade, Dag Slettemeås, Dale Southerton, and Ardis Storm-Mathisen

Important Dates

Abstracts due (via email): October 4, 2021

Submission method: Please send abstracts as PDFs (and any questions) to Henry Mainsah,, as well as to the editors of Digital Creativity,


Pink, S. Leder-Mackley, K. Morosanu, R. Mitchell, V. & Bhamra, T. (2017) Making homes: ethnography and design. Oxford: Bloomsbury.

Spigel, L. (2001). Media homes: then and now. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 4(4): 385-411.

Woods, H. S. (2021): Smart homes: domestic futurity as Infrastructure. Cultural Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2021.1895254



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