Notes on Fridge Surfaces

Laurel Swan, Alex Taylor

Published by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

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Drawing on ongoing ethnographic investigations into home life, this paper presents detailed findings from a preliminary examination of refrigerator surfaces. The use and organization of items on fridge surfaces are shown to be closely tied to the material properties of both fridges and their surroundings. Emphasis is placed on the importance of fridge magnets as they are seen to contribute to a fluidity and reconfigurability that make fridge surfaces unique. Building on this, it is argued that the negotiation of family relations is afforded by the presented properties of the fridge and of magnets. To conclude, we introduce some general points to consider in designing interactive surfaces for the home.