I am currently associate professor in design with a focus on the data-intensive society at Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University (Sweden). My interdisciplinary research centers around trying to understand and critique the role of (digital) things in experience and society in ways that can inform design, and it sits at the intersection of design studies, philosophy of technology, and critical technology studies. I have published and/or presented refereed work in philosophy of technology, science and technology studies, human-computer interaction (HCI), and design research.
My latest edited book is Relating to Things: Design, Technology and the Artificial (Bloomsbury 2020). It is a book in which philosophers and design researchers inquire into what it means to live with and relate to things that can actively relate to us, and that relate to each other in ways that do not involve us at all. As a whole, the book is a collaborative philosophical inquiry into the nature and consequences of contemporary technological things; and it is a design inquiry into the current nature of the artificial, and possibilities for how things might be otherwise.
Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World (Bloomsbury 2019), co-authored with Johan Redström, investigates and articulates what has become of things as computational processes, dynamic networks, and contextual customisation now emerge as factors as important as form, function, and material were for designing, using, and understanding objects in an industrial age.
Selected Recent Publications
Sabrina Hauser, Johan Redström and Heather Wiltse. 2021. “The widening rift between aesthetics and ethics in the design of computational things.” AI & Society. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-021-01279-w
Heather Wiltse, ed. 2020. Relating to Things: Design, Technology and the Artificial. London: Bloomsbury. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/relating-to-things-9781350124257/
Johan Redström and Heather Wiltse. 2019. Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World. London: Bloomsbury. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/changing-things-9781350004351/
Johan Redström and Heather Wiltse. 2019. “Changing Things: Innovation through Design Philosophy.” Academy of Design Innovation Management 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations. https://www.conftool.org/adim2019/index.php/Track_2.e-Changing_Things-252Redstr%C3%B6m_a.pdf?page=downloadPaper&filename=Track_2.e-Changing_Things-252Redstr%C3%B6m_a.pdf&form_id=252&form_version=final
Rodgers, Paul, Giovanni Innella, Craig Bremner, Ian Coxon, Cara Broadley, Alessia Cadamuro, Stephanie Carleklev, et al. 2019. “The Lancaster Care Charter.” Design Issues 35 (1): 73–77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/desi_a_00522.
Heather Wiltse. 2017. Mediating (infra)structures: Technology, media, environment. In Postphenomenology and Media: Essays on Human-Media-World Relations. Ed. Yoni Van Den Eede, Stacey Irwin, and Galit Wellner. Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield).
Heekyoung Jung, Heather Wiltse, Mikael Wiberg, and Erik Stolterman. 2017. Metaphors, Materialities, and Affordances: Hybrid Morphologies in the Design of Interactive Artifacts. Design Studies 53: 24–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.destud.2017.06.004.
Diane P. Michelfelder, Galit Wellner, and Heather Wiltse. 2017. Designing differently: Toward a methodology for an ethics of feminist technology design. In The Ethics of Technology: Methods and Approaches. Ed. Sven Ove Hansson. London: Rowman and Littlefield.
Heather Wiltse, Monica Lindh Karlsson, Kristina Lindström, Aditya Pawar, and Åsa Ståhl. 2016. Non-local situations: Speculating about future response-abilities of postindustrial design (research). Conversation presented at DRS 2016. https://www.drs2016.org/538
Johan Redström and Heather Wiltse. 2015. Press Play: Acts of defining (in) fluid assemblages. In Proceedings of Nordes 2015: Design Ecologies. http://www.nordes.org/opj/index.php/n13/article/view/432/407
Heather Wiltse. 2015. On being turned inside out. Interactions 22 (3): 20-21. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2767137.2744710
Heather Wiltse, Erik Stolterman, and Johan Redström. 2015. Wicked interactions: (On the necessity of) reframing the ‘computer’ in philosophy and design. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 19 (1): 26-49.
Lorenzo Davoli, Heather Wiltse, and Johan Redström. 2015. Trojans & drones: Materializing possibilities for transforming industrial infrastructures. In Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial Research Through Design Conference, 25-27 March 2015, Cambridge, UK, Article 29. http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1328010
Heather Wiltse. 2014. Unpacking digital material mediation. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 18(3): 154-182.