Rhythms of the Domestic Soundscape: Ethnomethodological Soundwalks for Phatic Technology Design

Abstract : The importance of the domestic soundscape as a context for technological interventions has received little attention in HCI research. In this paper, we discuss how an ethnomethodological soundwalk method facilitated design principles for a phatic technology probe for seniors living alone. Taking soundscape concepts as a starting point, we suggest that the soundwalk works much like a breaching experiment, changing the participant’s role in engaging with their soundscape from reactive automatic agent to proactive reflective agent. This enables participants to reveal their own systematic orderliness when accounting for everyday sounds. We find that sounds are accounted for in terms of people placed in narratives. As such, we argue that phatic technologies use new sounds and rhythms to augment the domestic soundscape to take advantage of people’s abilities to create social narratives from limited cues.
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Hanif Baharin, Sean Rintel, Stephen Viller. Rhythms of the Domestic Soundscape: Ethnomethodological Soundwalks for Phatic Technology Design. 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2013, Cape Town, South Africa. pp.463-470, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-40498-6_36⟩. ⟨hal-01510519⟩

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