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A smartphone in the nursery

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journal contribution
posted on 22.04.2019 by RTD Conference, Paulina Yurman
Through experiments in design, this research explores the role of smartphones for mothers and young children.

Forming part of the material paraphernalia surrounding mother and child, smartphones are used as connection with work or social realms, as entertainment, pacification and educational resource, thus blurring boundaries between the private and the public and between work and play. As a result, smartphones offer competing discourses that this research explores.

Through the processes of drawing and making, a series of experimental designs were created to develop this research space. Evoking behaviours brought by the use of smartphones during childcare, these designs present mothers as complex users and explores the possibilities for design to reshape our relationship with technologies in family life. The development of these proposals formed a first exploratory stage in this research.

A second stage took place in the encounters between people and the designs. Through narratives that were suggestive and open to multiple interpretations, the proposals encouraged conversations about motherhood and the implicated role of smartphones. As research objects, they allowed for discoveries both for me as researcher and for those that encountered them.

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