Giving up Control - A Speculative Air Pollution Mask to Reflect on Autonomy and Technology Design

Britta F. Schulte, Zuzanna Lechelt, Aneesha Singh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

In many metropolitan cities air pollution regularly exceeds safe levels, with numerous consequences for health and well-being. Current technological solutions often aim to give users control over their air pollution exposure by measuring, processing and sharing data about pollutant levels. We created a speculative face mask that opens and closes autonomously, taking control away from the user. The goal of the speculative design was to highlight the urgency and effect of air pollution on individuals in a tangible and embodied way. Through this critical design object, we question existing solutionist approaches to air pollution and pose questions about autonomy and individual responsibility. In this paper, we share our development process and the conceptual idea behind the mask to inform and inspire other critical objects to address important societal issues at an individual level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356312
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018
EventACM Designing Interactive Systems 2018: Diversity and Design - Hong Kong
Duration: 3 Jun 201813 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameDIS '18 Companion
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery


ConferenceACM Designing Interactive Systems 2018
Abbreviated titleDIS 2018
CityHong Kong
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • pollution
  • design fiction
  • critical design
  • sustainability


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