KEYWORDS : Web, application, smartphone, on-demand, Deliveroo, dispositif, delivery
ABSTRACT : The automated house brings to the fore the ideal of a total service: users could stay at home and see their needs cared for by design products which function as butlers. Smartphone apps potentially belong to this overall category, and the on-demand service apps work more specifically to reconfigure the service economy.
Using Giorgio Agamben’s definition of « dispositifs », I seek to demonstrate how the butler-apps display a specific set of uses and discourses that eventually work as a macro system redefining the urban grid. While the on-demand economy clearly marginalizes its underpaid delivery men/women, it is also a vector of alienation for the upper class «shut-in» who stay at home waiting for the completion of their chores.
While one class wilfully withdraws from public space, entering into the comfort of private space the labor of a whole class is erased: the on-demand paradigm is not so much defined by dematerialization — a concept frequently invoked when discussing issues related to digital media and economy — than it is marked by an overall invisibility.
(Français) “Done by app” : du design de services au quadrillage du réel