Designing with Emerging Science: Developing an Alternative Frame for Self-Tracking

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The emerging science of the “gut-brain axis” has been used as the basis for self-tracking technologies assuming that this connection can be used productively for better regulating mood, supporting digestive health, and avoiding disease. Taking this emerging science as a source of design inspiration, this paper presents a design research process to uncover opportunities for novel interaction design and generate alternative approaches to self-tracking. We explored how this emerging scientific knowledge might be experienced and used and what these design spaces might look like through designing a self-tracking probe and asking science communicators working with the gut-brain axis to live with that probe. Their reactions led to a set of exploratory interaction design briefs and a more refined research product that collectively articulate how design can engage with emerging science to inspire a new perspective on self-tracking practices—one of cultivation rather than control.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication32nd Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2020


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