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PhD research


June 2015

Melbourne, Australia

Button_iota is a wireless, context-agnostic, physical button that performs just exactly how a button would – press it, and it in turn should trigger something else.

What it triggers determines the function of the button, hence emphasising, from a design standpoint, the importance of location and context that this button is used and configured.

At this moment in time, Button_iota is serving as a simple doorbell for my home.

Design-wise, Button_iota pays homage to Brutalist architecture. The material used in the casing – pine – juxtaposes the sheer imposition of Brutalist structures with porousness and a far more softer nature – an apt embodiment of the 'hard' technology hidden inside the device/mechanical pushbutton; and that of the 'softer', pliant digital network in which we the device relies on to function.

Internally, Button_iota itself is an ultra-lower power circuit that communicates it's button presses via RF to a central IoTa server. The IoTa architecture also logs and interprets data, and research on this is ongoing.

This project forms part of a series of speculative design work intended to contribute to my PhD research – towards resolving wearables with affect/context-aware computing, and revealing new modes of communication with our built environment.