Smart home technology and automated agency in changing everyday practices

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In the transition towards a low-carbon society, renewable energy generation requires more flexible energy systems and users. Smart home technology (SHT) is being implemented as a solution to this, for instance by solving problems of peak-demand through smart automation and efficiency improvement. However, little is known about the social consequences of SHT – i.e. how it affects social relationships, roles and everyday practices (Hargreaves et al. 2017).
This presentation will discuss the findings of an ethnographic study of smart homes, including interviews with users and technology developers, in order to shed led on how the technology is envisioned, adopted and implemented in a home setting. The study takes a practice theoretical approach in order to understand how humans and technologies are related in a network of social practices. Holding smart capabilities and increased levels of automation, SHT influence domestic activities and reconfigure the socio-technical arrangements of everyday life. In the presentation, there will be a discussion on how the technology can be understood not merely as a material element in practices, but as a dynamic non-human actor (Latour 1992) taking part in the changing everyday practices and transforming routines of energy consumption. This analysis of the technology invites current theories of practice to a rethinking of the role of the material in social practices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date18 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2020
Event4S/EASST Conference 2020: Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and agency of STS in emerging worlds - Virtual, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 18 Aug 202021 Aug 2020


Conference4S/EASST Conference 2020
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


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