In two weeks from now, dr. Tom Hargreaves (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK) will give a seminar, entitled 'Smart homes, energy use and everyday life' on the 15th of March 2016 from 12:30 - 14:00 in room C0417 (Forum building). You are warmly welcomed to attend this open seminar.
Tom Hargreaves is Lecturer in Environmental Sciences & Policy in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of east Anglia, Norwich, UK. His research focuses on how innovations to promote sustainability impact upon people’s everyday lives. He is particularly interested in the inter-relationships between the dynamics and evolution of social practices, how technologies are adopted and used in everyday life and the effects of attempts to govern everyday life to try and steer it in more sustainable directions. His work is situated at the interface between human geography, environmental sociology and science and technology studies. Tom Hargreaves has several publications on smart energy use and on practicing behaviour change.
Through ambient intelligence and automated control systems, so-called ‘smart’ homes have been presented as a key means by which households can optimize their use of energy-consuming appliances in order to save both energy and money. Whilst the adoption of smart home technologies and their appropriation within everyday practices is critical to the overall success of smart homes, to date visions of smart homes have been strongly driven by technology push and have not been based on a clear understanding of user-centric benefits, nor have users been engaged with in any clear or systematic way. There is thus an important need to understand how smart home users are being represented and understood within these technology-driven visions, and how this compares with and relates to people’s everyday lives. This presentation will introduce the REFIT research project that combines in-depth qualitative research on how people use smart home technologies with advanced energy monitoring techniques to develop a better understanding of smart homes potential in reducing everyday energy use. Specifically, the talk will focus on comparing the different representations of smart home users contained within industry/policy visions, academic literature and in in-depth qualitative research.