Fragile! handle with care: The morse things

Doenja Oogjes, Ron Wakkary, Henry Lin, Omid Alemi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Morse Things are Internet connected ceramic cups and bowls that communicate with each other in Morse Code. This ongoing research iteratively asks thing-centered questions of things and technology. A premise of the Morse Things is that any understanding of a thing or technology is unstable and arguably fragile. In this pictorial, we reflect on how we as researchers, in the course of doing research with the Morse Things, unexpectedly found ourselves literally entangled in the conceptual and physical fragility of the research. This pictorial describes our growing awareness of this instability, beginning with a kintsugi repair of a broken Morse Thing, our false confidence in our package design for shipping, and the difficulties to conceptualize the machine learning world that we ourselves created. We reflect on these experiences, and now see these as reminders of the inevitable fragility and instability of research on thing-perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369749
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
Event2020 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2020 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 202010 Jul 2020


Conference2020 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 ACM.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Fragility
  • Internet of things
  • Material speculation
  • Multi-stability
  • Thing-perspectives


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