Heather Wiltse


In my research I am concerned with the character of (especially digital) designed things and the roles that they play in experience and society. I have focused in particular on how digital technologies mediate engagement with the world by making activities visible, a project informed by philosophy of technology (especially postphenomenology), science and technology studies (STS), and design. Through my research, I am in a sense exploring the future foundations of design. In my thesis, I looked at how digital technology makes activity visible. One example of this is the time stamp on email and text. This captures the actual activity and shows when someone performed it, providing another kind of information than simply the message itself. 

I am currently working on projects related to understanding how (designed) things have changed, in that we are now surrounded by digitally-enabled things that are often dynamically assembled in different ways over time and across contexts and users, and that have capabilities that are defined by the digital infrastructures to which they connect more than by their properties as physical objects. This shift from stable, self-contained objects to more fluid assemblages entails significant implications for design and use, and requires rather different conceptual and analytic approaches that I am working on developing.

Blog: http://heatherwiltse.me/blog/

Areas of interest

-Critical perspectives on (especially digital) technologies
-Technology and experience
-Design theory
-Philosophy of technology


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