Imaginaries

New technical developments are always associated with visions of a desirable future. Diverse societal dynamics relate to digitalization processes and shape our thoughts and actions both today and in the future. Digital technologies and services play a decisive role in many areas – such as housing, work, shopping or mobility - and are increasingly integrated into all areas of our everyday lives. The fitness app determines our level of activity, our music-streaming provider suggests playlists, and the smart home notifies us via mobile device once the laundry is finished. As these new digital solutions emerge, they are shaped by collective ideas about technology's future role in society and individual life. These visions of technoscientific progress are also known as "socio-technical imaginaries" and, within the project, refer to expectations, ideas, and narratives regarding the design and application of digital solutions. The project focuses on analyzing visions of the future in the areas of housing (smart home) and energy (smart grids) regarding the values they transmit. Which actors create which visions of interconnected living and what influence do they have on the use of smart home systems? How do the visions of a future intelligent energy system influence urban processes? In this sub-project, qualitative research methods such as interviews and content analysis are applied. In addition, a discourse network analysis based on Twitter data will be conducted to investigate the social discourse in connection with imaginaries of future developments.

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Friederike Rohde

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