In 2020, 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet. This significant technological development means we need to explore new questions around material culture, and the shape of the experiences and interactions we have with our physical and virtual worlds.

Objects was REACT’s fourth theme and explored the next chapter in the story of both objects and the Internet, through the Internet of Things. The emphasis was on the interactions and experiences that exist between an individual and [internet] connected, physical objects. Historically, technology and electronics have dictated the form of objects and consequently most look exactly like what they are. Additionally the Internet and the web are principally consumed through screens, so interactions and engagement with content takes similar forms.

The diverse cohort includes geographers, ethnomusicologists, award winning product designers, coders, makers, multidisciplinary creative agencies, composers, and musicians this opportunity with connected-objects to break free from these constraints and create objects that explore a new language of design. They created everything from remotely activated taxidermy, to stress relieving data pebbles, to augmented music instruments and haptic communication devices.

We also commissioned research that demonstrated how valuable the deep knowledge of cultural forms and critical approaches to enquiry found in arts and humanities research can contribute to the growth of a better, more human-centred internet of things.

You can visit our archived Objects microsite here

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