Designing the smart house posthuman domesticity and conspicuous production

Lynn Spigel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


This article analyzes recent architectural and product designs for computerized smart homes. The smart home is a sentient space where human subjects and domestic objects speak to one another via intelligent agents and internet connections. This article explores the industrial logic behind this new vision of home (i.e. the links between the hi-tech industry and the building/home appliance industries) and examines the mode of subjectivity the smart home demands. It calls this mode of subjectivity 'posthuman domesticity' (a term to explore the way that everyday human experience is orchestrated by telerobotics and intelligent agents). Analyzing architectural designs, advertisements and magazines, the article focuses on how the smart home industry promotes an ideal of 'conspicuous production' in which the luxury home is no longer just a site of leisure and consumption, but also the ultimate workplace. It argues that smart homes reconfigure but also reinforce gendered patterns of domestic labor and leisure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-426
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Conspicuous production
  • Conspicuous reproduction
  • Home office
  • Performative communication
  • Posthuman domesticity
  • Teleworker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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