Photobox: On the design of a slow technology

Proceedings of Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2012 |

We describe the design and implementation of Photobox, a device intended to be used over many years, which occasionally prints a randomly selected photo from the owner’s Flickr collection inside of a wooden chest. We describe and reflect on how engaging in the design of this slow technology led to some unexpected challenges and provoked us to re-think approaches to making technologies that are intended to be used over long time scales and which might act infrequently. We also reflect on how living with the device during the implementation phase led to unexpected insights. We conclude with implications for research and practice in the slow technology design space.