Digital homes on wheels: Designing for the unimagined home

Alexandra Zafiroglu*, Michele Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Design for the digital home is often predicated on an ideal, imagined domestic space that is expansive, stable, occupied by a "busy" nuclear family, and does not always match existing, real-life digital homes. Using American retirees living full time in recreational vehicles as our case study of actual digital homes, we argue that designing suitable and appropriate technologies for the home must be done with particular attention to the home as embodied, rather than the home as ideal. The challenges and advantages of designing for embodied homes are detailed in this paper. We contend that appropriate design must seriously engage not only the material body of the house, but the social fabric - the complex sets of social relationships and identities and practices they support - that make a house a home. An analysis of the salient aspects of the material body and social fabric of full time retired RVer household leads to bespoke design considerations for these real-life digital homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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