Designing for interpersonal connections in future technologies: An annotated portfolio of jewelry devices

Vanessa Carpenter, Daniel Overholt

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents 4 design artefacts as an annotated portfolio, exploring how to design for tangible, non-screen jewelry devices which enable personal and interpersonal connections. We posit that these connections are key in furthering people's relationship with technology, beyond the basic functionality and efficiency of many so-called smart products today. To explore these connections, we have chosen to design jewelry devices as most traditionally crafted jewelry does not usually serve a particular functional purpose beyond emotional engagement, such as a wedding ring, an heirloom or a photo locket. As wearables become more ubiquitous, we look to traditional craft to inform future designs and ask the question of which combination of technology and traditional craft can enable these connections and more meaningful experiences via our devices. We explore related works in interaction design where traditional craft and technology has been combined and create an annotated portfolio of our designs as an attempt to exemplify qualities which are not typically tacit in the design of smart products. Through reflection of each of the artefacts, the following four annotations are derived: 1) Desire as a driver of jewelry devices; 2) Engagement beyond useful functionality; 3) The current day novelty and importance of an app-less device and; 4) Using links to achieve deeper connections: people to people, a person to their sense of self, and a person to time (past, present or future). This work contributes as a key insight, that in a time where ‘smart products’ are emerging in every domain, interaction designers can utilize traditional craft and the connections described in this work to influence and contribute to the thoughtful and thorough design of these future devices, helping create a future where technology enables richer interpersonal relationships
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018 : Design in the era of digitalization
EditorsPhilip Ekströmer, Simon Schütte, Johan Ölvander
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationLinköping, Sweden
PublisherDesign Society
Publication date1 Oct 2018
ISBN (Print)978-91-7685-185-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
EventNordDesign 2018 - Linköping, Sweden
Duration: 14 Aug 201817 Aug 2018


ConferenceNordDesign 2018


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