Karey HelmsPhD Student researching Smart Implicit Interactions at KTH Royal Institute of Technology

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I am a PhD student in the Interaction Design Research group at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to beginning my PhD in December 2016, I worked as a Interaction and Service Designer within enterprise Internet of Things in London. Originally from Tennessee, I have an MFA in Interaction Design from Umeå Institute of Design and a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia.


As Machine Learning is increasingly prevalent in everyday interactions with technology it affords the personalization and prediction of user experiences through the design of implicit interactions, interactions that might behave in the periphery or background. While these contextualized and anticipatory systems offer opportunities to transform our everyday lives in positive ways, they also challenge notions of spontaneity, agency, and identity as technology increasingly operates on our behalf. Thus, my PhD research is investigating a more meaningful choreography between implicit and explicit interactions with technology, with an emphasis on those enabled or informed by Machine Learning. Embedded within this overarching topic are interests in extending technical practices such as data collection and training into design spaces focused on intimate practices and relationships to explore Machine Learning as a design material while also surfacing social tensions, interactional loops, and gender biases with and through smart technologies. Current Research through Design methods being employed include the creation of boundary objects such as design workbooks and fictional abstracts, as well as autobiographical design, prototyping, and satirical design fiction.


In my spare time I support my partner’s fermentation business Homemade Cultures.

I am also an avid travel hiker, below are some highlights:
Nepal, 20 days Annapurna Circuit (5,416 m / 17,769 ft), 10 days Ganesh Himal
Georgia, 17 days in the Caucasus (including Mestia to Ushguli)
Chile, 10 days Torres del Paine (Circuit trek)
Argentina, 5 days Los Glaciares National Park (near Mount Fitz Roy)
Sweden, 5 days Kungsleden (2014 – Kebnekaise 2,106 m / 6,909 ft), 2 days Sarek, 2 days Höga Kusten
Columbia, 4 days Ciudad Perdida
Norway, 7 days Lofoten Islands (2017 – Hermannsdalstinden Summit 1029 m / 3376 ft), 4 days Lofoten Islands (2014)
Peru, 4 days Inca Trail (4,215 m / 13,829 ft)
United Kingdom, 4 days South Downs Way, 3 days Isle of Wight Coastal Path (105 km / 65 mi)
Panama, 2 days Volcan Baru summit (3,474 m / 11,398 ft)
Indonesia, 1 day Mount Batur (Volcano)
Turkey, 1 day Lycian Way, 2 days Cappadocian Valleys
New Zealand, 1 day Abel Tasman

Sometimes I blog about it: happyspooner.com