Postphenomenological Dimensions of Digitally Mediated Domestic Heating

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


Designing interactive technology to support and reduce domestic energy consumption has occupied HCI researchers for decades. This paper extends this body of HCI research by using postphenomenology as an analytical lens to understand how the digital energy assistant' Watts' mediates domestic district heating. We base our inquiry on empirical insights from a two-year study. We conducted informal meetings, focus groups with seven households before Watts' distribution, two rounds of semi-structured interviews with seven household representatives using Watts, and 304 questionnaire respondents. We illustrate findings in three postphenomenological dimensions - practical, ontological, and epistemological - showing a two-sidedness of technology-mediated domestic district heating. For instance, Watts enables some to reduce heating by magnifying certain new aspects of consumption, but also constrains others from doing the same by concealing the "raw" consumption data. Finally, we discuss four tensions of Watts mediation and how postphenomenology can complement HCI studies on domestic energy consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParticipative Computing for Sustainable Futures - Proceedings of the 12th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, NordiCHI 2022
Publication date8 Oct 2022
Article number3546692
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-9699-8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2022
EventNordiCHI 2022 - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 8 Oct 202212 Oct 2022


ConferenceNordiCHI 2022
Internet address


  • district heating
  • postphenomenology
  • sustainability


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