Gut-Tracking as Cultivation

Laurens Boer, Harvey Bewley, Tom Jenkins, Sarah Homewood, Teresa Almeida, Anna Vallgårda

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Contemporary self-tracking devices take forms that reflect particular cultures of self-tracking that emphasize clinical perspectives and numerical precision. In this pictorial, we explore alternative forms to speculate on other possible self-tracking cultures. We present how we involved experts on the relationship between the gut and the brain to inspire a design brief for an alternative gut tracking device. This led to the design of Loupe and Lightbox, which together operate to externalize gut biota for closer examination, aesthetic appreciation, and reflection on the self. The device represents an example of self-tracking as cultivation—building a longer-term relationship with the self as something to be nurtured, tended to, and cared about.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date6 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020


  • Self-Tracking Devices
  • Gut-Health
  • Gut-Brain Axis
  • Probes
  • Research through design


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