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Showing posts from 2014

My PhD dissertation (in digital version for download)

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I defended my PhD dissertation in 1991. It took me forever to finish it but at the end I was at least quite happy with what I had accomplished. I now and then go back and read bits and pieces from it. Always entertaining and sometimes surprising, encouraging or even depressing. The depressing part is when I realize that I wrote everything in my dissertation that I am still working on, and in many cases better than I could write it today (at least it feels like that).

Anyway, I have not had an digital version of the dissertation but found one today (in the Umea University Library). It is in Swedish so it is of course not really readable to many.

A pdf of the dissertation can be downloaded here.

Wonderful movie about Heidegger (and design)

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If you have not yet watched the movie "Being in the world" by Tao Ruspoli about the philosophy of
Heidegger, you should. The film is full of comments from many of todays leading philosophers. They talk about Heidegger but in a language that makes it possible to understand for anyone. It is a movie about being a human being. And it is a movie about being a designer!

You can read more about the movie here.

Interesting review 50 years later of Marcuse's "One-dimensional man"

It is 50 years now since Herbert Marcuse published his influential book "One-dimensional man". This has been one of my favorite books since the first time I read it. I have frequently returned to it and is every time inspired by it, usually in a new way than before. It is a book rich of big ideas. Recently I wrote a book chapter on how Marcuse is relevant to the field of interaction design research (hopefully to be published soon).

I am of course not the only one who returns to this seminal book. In a really interesting review, written in relation to the 50 year anniversary,  Ronald Aronson explains the immensely important role that Marcuse has had over the decades. This review is thoughtful and insightful. I was while reading it first a bit concerned by the argument that the conditions during the time when Marcuse authored the book have changed so much that it is not relevant in the same way anymore. However, later in the article Aronson makes the case that I would do, name…

DesignX -- a new collaborative initiative to radically reform design

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We do not see a lot of manifestos or White Papers in the field of research, which is unfortunate since they do have certain qualities that almost no other scholarly writings have. Some of these qualities are that they are short, to the point, argumentative, and usually written and signed by a group of people with a stated purpose to influence others.

Today I got one such document in an email. The document is called DesignX and is written by a group of well known design scholars (in alphabetical order): Ken Friedman (Tongji University, College of Design and Innovation and Swinburne University Centre for Design Innovation), Yongqi Lou (Tongji), Don Norman (University of California, San Diego, Design Lab), Pieter Jan Stappers (Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering), Ena Voûte (Delft), and Patrick Whitney (Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design).

You can download the text here. Or you can read the text here on Don Norman's site. http:/…

The future of the smartphone

As we all know it is not easy to predict the future. It is so difficult so it sometimes becomes almost depressing. In this short article with the lead designers Matias Duarte (Google) and Gentry Underwood (Dropbox) are supposed to speculate about the future of the smartphone. They do that by mostly examining the problems with where we are now. It is difficult to see any grand visions or even optimism in their speculations.  They both see the future of the smartphone in its ability to live in an ecology of devices and not as a radical change of the smartphone itself.

It is interesting to see how these two influential designers are discussing the problem of modern smartphones very much in a way that resonates with Albert Borgmann's theory about the "device paradigm". The designers are, in the same way as Borgmann, concerned that the everywhere presence of screens distance us from the "real" reality and Underwood ends by saying "I hope as we push these screen…

Amazon Echo and Faceless Interaction

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Amazon is presenting a new device called Echo. It is a voice controlled device that makes it possible to play music, ask questions (Siri style), create shopping lists, set alarms, etc. It is supposed to have a
sophisticated microphone system that can recognize commands even when playing music. You can place it anywhere in a room and control it with your voice. You can check out the video link found on this page.

I find this really interesting. It is a step towards what Lars-Erik Janlert and I call "faceless interaction" in our article "Faceless Interaction - a conceptual examination of the notion of interface: past, present and future".

This type of faceless interaction, that is, interactivity without a "real" interface (defined in the article), is becoming more common and the issues we discuss in the article, for instance, interaction clutter becomes more prominent. When we have not just one but many faceless interactions in our environment, new challeng…

The Design Way (third print of paperback!)

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Just got the good news from MIT Press that they are preparing the third print of the paperback version (first print came out earlier this Fall) of our book The Design Way. This is exciting. It means that for some reason people are buying the book! If you are one of them -- thanks.

The Anatomy of Prototypes

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In preparation of a lecture on Monday I had to re-read an article that I wrote together with Youn-Kyoung Lim and Josh Tenenberg called "The Anatomy of Prototypes: Prototypes as Filters, Prototypes as Manifestations of Design Ideas".

I don't think I have read the whole article in a few years which is always an exciting  and a bit nervous experience. Anyway, this time I was pleasantly surprised. I really find this article to be interesting and still useful. Unfortunately I have not done any more work on this topic since we wrote this article but after having read it now, I think I  have to.

I am more convinced than ever that what our field needs are analytical tools that makes it possible to investigate specific entities in a structured way. In this article we propose an anatomy of prototypes that supports such investigations of one of the most important entities in our field--the prototype.

It would be great if we could develop similar "anatomies" for other enti…

A video talk: Improving Design without Destroying it

I did a Skype talk with the Belgium CHI community the other day. The title of my talk was "Improving Design Without Destroying it". They recorded the talk and it is now available on Youtube.

There is an introduction of about 5 min before my talk starts. Here is an abstract of the talk. I am not sure how well I stayed with the topic though....

"The design process is today highly appreciated for the kind of results it can deliver. This appreciation can be found within academia as well as in the  business world. At the same time there is in many communities a noticeable  uneasiness of the ambiguous character and the apparent elusiveness of the  methods of design. This unease has led to many attempts to transform or improve the design process, for instance with the purpose to make the process more efficient, rational, predictable, and safe. However, many of these attempts  have lead to results that are detrimental to the design process, because they  impose conditions, limi…

Article Note: "A design thinking rationality framework: framing and solving design problems in early concept generation" by Jieun Kim and Hokyoung Ryu

I just read this (quite long) article "A design thinking rationality framework: framing and solving design problems in early concept generation" by Jieun Kim and Hokyoung Ryu (in Human-Computer Interaction, 2014 Vol 27). I did not know about this work at all but was positively surprised. The authors are doing a great job in referencing a lot of contemporary design theorists. The authors clearly know the field. They also report from a large experiment where they engaged experienced and non-experienced (novice) designers in a design task. The insights from the study is primarily that experienced designers are more effective in framing a design problem but also that they "stick" to their early ideas (what the authors call "design fixation"), while inexperienced designers are not as good at framing a design problem but instead are more willing to let go of initial ideas.

I think these findings are interesting, specifically since I usually hear people argue th…

New type of posts--Article Notes

As some of you have noticed over the years I now and then write Book Notes. These notes are not real reviews, but they are comments on books that I am reading or have read. I have now realized that I can do the same thing with journal articles (maybe later on with conference papers). It is a way for me to force myself to read more carefully and also to formulate my thoughts on what I am reading. If anyone else find these article notes useful then even better.

So if you have some articles that you want me to read and write a note about, just let me know. I might do it....

Article Note: "Making Things Happen: Social Innovation and Design" by Ezio Manzini

In a recent article, "Making Things Happen: Social Innovation and Design" (2014 Design Studies), Ezio Manzini discusses what social innovation is and how it relates to design. The article is quite short and is based on a discussion of cases where Manzini sees social innovation at play. Overall this article is interesting but it is quite brief in its treatment of the cases and the way Manzini deals with both the notion of social innovation and design leads to some really good questions.

I will only comment on one of the insights in the paper since I find the analysis of the cases as different forms of social innovation only to serve as background to the main argument. Manzini is making the case that social innovation involves design. It is possible to read the article in a way that makes it almost impossible to distinguish the two based on the definitions Manzini uses. However, at the end of the article Manzini states that designers (I read this as professionally educated and…

The common mistake of seeing design as a particular field or profession

I have written here before about the mistake of seeing design as a profession and/or a discipline. To me, design is an approach, a way of approaching reality with the purpose to change it. There are no given design areas or disciplines. Instead it is the nature of the problem/situation that usually determines what is a field or discipline. So, for instance, graphic design is a field that has to do with graphic and visual artifacts, architecture is a field that engages with buildings and structure, etc. They are not by nature design fields or disciplines.

Graphic design has some similarities with architecture of course. Some of those similarities can be seen as related to materials, surfaces and structures. Some similarities have to do with how people perceive forms, shapes and colors and their combinations. To me it is obvious that you can approach these qualities either with a scientific approach or with a designerly approach or with a combination. This means that graphic design and …

Faceless Interaction - a conceptual examination of the notion of interface: past, present and future

Now the article by Lars-Erik Janlert and me is published on the Human-Computer Interaction Journals website. I am very happy to see this article published!


Janlert, L-E., & Stolterman, E. (2014). Faceless Interaction - a conceptual examination of the notion of interface: past, present and future. InHuman-Computer Interaction

Abstract

In the middle of the present struggle to keep interaction complexity in check as artifact complexity continues to rise and the technical possibilities to interact multiply, the notion of interface is scrutinized. First, a limited number of previous interpretations or thought styles of the notion are identified and discussed. This serves as a framework for an analysis of the current situation with regard to complexity, control, and interaction, leading to a realization of the crucial role of surface in contemporary understanding of interaction. The potential of faceless interaction, interaction that transcends traditional reliance on surfaces, is then e…

The importance of good design presentations

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I always talk with my students about the importance of being able to do good design presentations. No matter how good design work you have done, if you can not present it, explain it, and argue for it, no one will "buy it".

I saw this article today by Mike Monterio that in a simple and fun way explain a number of the points I always stress. There are many similar articles out there about presentation techniques, but this has a different flavor and I think it works well.


The Design Way -- some news

Some good news about our book, "The Design Way". The new paperback edition of The Design Way was just released by MIT Press. It sold out immediately! More copies will be available in October. And an edition in Spanish will be published in the Spring of 2015!

new article: "Faceless Interaction - a conceptual examination of the notion of interface: past, present and future"

I have for many year worked with my colleague Lars-Erik Janlert (Umeå Univeristy, Sweden). Actually we were PhD students in the same department many, many years ago. Our work together has slowly developed and become more focused over the years. We just got our latest article "Faceless Interaction - a conceptual examination of the notion of interface: past, present and future" accepted for publication in the journal Human-Computer Interaction. We have now three articles published on the theme of "interactivity" and one in draft.

Janlert, L-E., & Stolterman, E. (in progress). Increasing Interactivity.

Janlert, L-E., & Stolterman, E. (forthcoming). Faceless Interaction - a conceptual examination of the notion of interface: past, present and future. In Human-Computer Interaction. (will hopefully be available soon)

Lars-Erik Janlert and Erik Stolterman. 2010. Complex interaction. ToCHI (ACM Transactions of Computer-Human Interaction) 17, 2.

Janlert, L-E. & S…

Some reflections on the overwhelming amount of research publishing

Recently I thought I would try to compose a list of journals that publishes HCI research. I engaged in a search. I was overwhelmed. I never finished a list. The reason is that I found several lists of journals, many journals, many of which I have never heard off and even more that I have never read.

The HCI bibliography
web site of Panayiotis Koutsabasis
http://sighci.org/index.php?page=journals
http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=1709
https://hci.rwth-aachen.de/isi-journals
microsoft list
and there are many more.

Some of these journals are supported by large academic organizations, some are independent. It is important to remember that ACM is not the only large academic organization that has a special focus on HCI (so are AIS, IEEE, etc).  Who reads all these journals? Add to this all the conferences where an even larger number of papers are published every year. Overwhelming.

This little search made it very clear that as researchers we are not really doing research in a d…

Is Object Oriented Ontology and Speculative Realism the answer? [and if so, what is the question?]

Over the last few years I have read some books in the new philosophical school of thought called Object Oriented Ontology or Speculative Realism. I have read Graham Harman and others, the most recent books are Levi Bryant's "Onto-Cartography: an ontology of machines and media" and Tristan Garcia's "Form and Object: a treatise on things". I am still intrigued with this new form of philosophical realism and, in some cases, materialism. In many ways it feels fresh and inspiring as an attempt to get away from philosophy that seems to have left the world of 'reality' and things behind.

The basic idea behind all these new attempts seems to be a willingness to return to reality as we experience it as humans in a very direct way, that is, as a world composed of things that make up our reality. It is also an attempt to build some form of objective approach to reality that distance itself from intricate and elaborate ideas of subjectivism and phenomenology. O…

Beautiful 50 sec video: Elements of Design

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Harold Nelson sent me this link today. It is to a short video with the name "Elements of Design" by Matt Greenwood (mattgreenwood.tv). Greenwood is an art director and motion designer.
Some of his work is displayed on his site. Very nice work!

"Field Notes" note books and the art of taking notes

A friend of mine gave me two "Field Notes"note books last week. It was a two-pack with one book for science and one for art. I suppose that Field Notes has been around for a while and are probably quite famous, but for some reason I had not seen them before. The format, the paper, and the colors are just wonderful. Take a look at their shop and all the note books, pens, and other smart devices for note taking.

The Field Notes really make we want to be better at taking notes. For many years I did good job and all my research was written down in my favorite note book. Nowadays, not so much. I try to, but I do not do it frequently enough to make it a second nature of my work habits. I have realized that these days I do most of my thinking by typing and not by taking notes. One reason for this may be that I am almost always in front of a screen and a keyboard, so it feels as an unnecessary step to first write my ideas down on paper and then later type them.

Of course, I know tha…

New book in the Design Thinking, Design Theory Series

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Yesterday I got in the mail the newest book in the MIT Press book series on Design Thinking, Design Theory that I am involved in. The book is called "Situated Design Methods" and is edited by Ole Erik Hansen, Jesper Simonsen, Connie Svabo, Sara Malou Strandvad, Kristine Samson and Morten Hertzum. The authors make the case that every design is situated and in need of different ways to approach them. They present 18 situated design methods with cases and analysis. The authors all come from Denmark and have extensive experience with these kinds of methods.


It has been exciting to work with MIT Press these last few years on this book series.  Ken Friedman and I are Book Series Editors and we work closely with Doug Sery from MIT Press. We have now published six books and more are coming. You can find a nice presentation of the books in the series here: Design Thinking, Design Theory. If you think that your book idea fits in this series, just write to me.

Reflections on Google's Material Design

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It is really interesting to read about the new initiative from Google that is labeled "Material Design". It is a new interface 'language'.  Google has released an excellent Introduction that shows and explains the principles and details of their Material Design philosophy. It is very informative to click through all the pages and to try all the examples. It takes a few minutes but it is worth it.

It is impressing how much thinking and work has gone into this new design guideline. The basic inspiration is the notion of "material". It is however not easy to understand what that means and how Google understands the notion. One interpretation that is both ambitious and informative can be read in this interview with two of Google designers. The writer and interviewer is Mark Wilson who writes for Fast Company. His article explores some quite good explanations of "Material Design".

He writes "With Material Design, Google has become a second realit…

Book note: "Stuff Matters -- exploring the marvelous materials that shape our man-made world" by Mark Miodownik

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I found a really interesting book today at the book store. It is called "Stuff Matters -- exploring the marvelous materials that shape our man-made world" and it is written by Mark Miodownik. Miodownik is a professor of materials and society.

Materials make up our designed world. Most everything that humans have designed are manifested through the shaping of materials. This is true even when we talk about service design or other forms of process designs. In order to make services  or processes possible there is usually some materials involved (sometimes simple materials as texts on paper).

Miodownik has a fascination and passion about materials. In the book he discusses ten different
materials that have been crucial in the forming of our society, such as steel, paper, glass, etc.

It is exciting to see how most of the materials we are surrounded by has been part of our history and been useful for a long time while we only recently have started to understand why different mate…

Design is not a profession or a discipline

At a recent design research conference I heard many statements beginning with "we designers..." or "the profession of design...". Almost all these statements are based on the idea that there are certain people that are designers and then others who are not. In many cases participants talked about the design profession  (in most cases meaning "those of us who are educated in design schools"). It is as being a designer is a stamp and when you have the stamp then you are a designer.

The way design has developed over the last three decades has made it almost impossible to argue that design is a profession and/or a discipline, but still it seems to be a prevalent belief even among those who know more about design than most everyone else.

I like to make the comparison with other human approaches, for instance, science. Very few would state that being a scientist is a profession or even a discipline. Science is a way to approach the world with the purpose of cre…

The DRS 2014 Conference--some thoughts

Last week I spent in Umeå, Sweden (my old home town) not only to meet family and friends or to work at the Institute of Design, but also to participate in the DRS 2014 Conference. I have been involved in the planning of the conference but from a distance. I have been to a number of these conferences over the years. I am happy to say that this years conference was by far the best one yet (and it is not only because I was involved :-)

The conference had somewhere around 370 participants! The introduction of "Debates" and "Conversations" (organized by Jamer Hunt and Carl DiSalvo) was a great success of bring new formats into the conference. The quality of the papers were also, in my view, better than before, which was a consequence of an improved review process (handled by Youn Lim and Kristina Niederer). Overall, the conference was a success. I only heard good things from happy participants.

The idea we had in the planning was to keep developing the DRS conference in…

Where is the right place for the interface?

The notion of wearable technology is creating design challenges. Is is a gimmick or is there a real potential for useful technology? And is that a question of technology or design? It is fascinating to see how the placement of the interface is posing so many questions, and opinions. Should the interface be traditionally placed on a designated surface, such as the laptop or smartphone, or should the interface be on our arms (smartwatches) or in our glasses (Google glass) or maybe we do not need a surface at all?

Hartmund Esslinger argues that "smartwatches are stupid" in a recent article.  As an internationally recognized interaction designer, he should know.   In the same article, several questions are raised around wearable technology, its recent quick but sometimes short successes and failures. The question is discussed if it is a question of technology or of design. I find this discussion interesting, especially in relation to a forthcoming article that I have written wit…

Book note: "The Circle" by Dave Eggers

There are many of us who daily reflect on what it means that we are using Google, Facebook and other internet based companies with so many aspects of our daily lives. Some refuse to "sell their soul" to Google while others take the position that it does not matter or that it is too late anyway. The issue that is at the core of these positions is the relationship or balance between usefulness (as in functionality) and privacy. It is obvious that many useful functions have consequences when it comes to privacy, for instance, to accept and use apps that know my location can be useful but it also means I share that information with others.

Dave Eggers' book "The Circle" is a novel that takes on this question in an intriguing and entertaining way. The book is about the company "The Circle" that has swallowed Google and Facebook and many others to become the biggest internet company in history. The story follows a young new employee, Mae, through her introdu…

Levi Bryant on the relationship between social constructivism and speculative realism

I have found an excellent talk by Levi Bryant on the topic "Object-Oriented Philosophy & Speculative Realism". In the talk Bryant discusses the relationship between Critical Theory (as a form of social constructivism) and Speculative Realism (as a form of materialism) in a way that I really appreciate. He makes the foundations of both "approaches" visible and understandable and also reveals what is the problems with both of them and what can be done. Excellent.

[Here is also a very good lecture by Graham Harman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK-5XOwraQo]

New design school initiative: 30weeks

This is how a new design school initiative, 30weeks, is presented in Fast Company:

"Following Apple's success, many companies are finally starting to recognize the crucial role design plays in building a desirable (and profitable) product. Yet very few companies are actually founded and led by designers. Here to change that is 30Weeks, a new program by a powerhouse team of New York design schools--Parsons, Pratt, School of Visual Arts, and The Cooper Union--in collaboration with the education company Hyper Island and Google."

The initiative itself has a video (same page as above) that quickly presents the idea. Here you can read more about the initiative on its website.

It is fascinating to see so many excited people around the world that believes that design in some fashion is the savior. In most cases of course it is seen as the solution to the problem of not having good enough innovations that can become successful startups or new product lines in slow moving large co…

Paper back version of "The Design Way" coming in September

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I am very happy to announce that Harold Nelson's and my book "The Design Way", published by MIT Press, will be out in paperback in September. The price will be ONLY $19.00! It is rewarding to see how this book is still alive and well.

It is about 20 years since we started to work on these ideas. The second edition made it possible for us to update the content. Actually, already when we started to write the book we decided to write it in such a way that it would not feel "old" fast. We were careful with using examples and events that would soon be forgotten. Hopefully this has made the book more stable over time.

Book note: "Onto-cartography -- an ontology of machines and media" by Levi R. Bryant

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I just read the introduction chapter of Levi R. Bryant's new book "Onto-cartography -- an ontology of machines and media". Very exciting ideas. Now I am really interested in reading more. 

Bryant is a proponent for materialism and develops a strong argument against what he calls "discursivist orientations" in contemporary scholarly work, primarily in the humanities and social sciences. Instead he proposes an ontology that takes "things" and "stuff" seriously as part of our reality that shapes, like gravity, what is possible and not possible. He calls these entities (things and stuff) machines to "emphasize the manner in which entities dynamically operate on inputs producing outputs" (p6).

Ok, I have only read the introduction but so far it has left me intrigued and quite fascinated. Part of my fascination comes from the realization that the way Bryant defines his concepts resonate in many ways with my own thinking. For instance, he w…

Vitruvius was right about design knowledge (2000 years ago)

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Many who have studied design theory know that Vitruvius was one of the first practicing designers (architect) and design thinkers who formulated thoughts and theory about design. At the same time I believe that there are not as many today who actually have read Vitruvius' writings. He is most famous for his "Ten Books on Architecture" written sometime in the first century B.C. Most of this book consists of specific directions and guidelines for detailed architectural work.

[The whole book is available online at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20239/20239-h/29239-h.htm]


I will here only focus on the first chapter of the first book "The Education of the Architect". It is a fascinating text that I find extraordinary full of wisdom in a straightforward and simple way.

I would like to copy the whole chapter, but I have instead chosen to copy a few excerpts from the chapter, just to give a sense of what it contains, and maybe it will lead you to read more. The whole c…

Book note: "Ways of Knowing in HCI" by Judith S. Olson and Wendy A. Kellogg

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A new book just arrived in my mailbox. It is "Ways of Knowing in HCI" by Judith S. Olson and Wendy A. Kellogg. I have spent some time today going through the different chapters. I read some and browsed others. Overall I find this to an excellent contribution to the field of HCI research. The edited book contains 18 chapters, each describing a particular research approach, method or technique commonly used in HCI research.

Of course, most of these methods have been described elsewhere and in most cases also in more detail and depth, but the unique aspect of this book is that all chapters are written by HCI researchers who can relate each method to HCI research and also give examples of where it has been used, what it mean to use it in HCI research, what constitute a good job when using a particular method.

I fully agree with the Editors in their Epilogue when they state that we should read all chapters and not just the ones about methods we already are familiar with. I followe…

A growing problem in HCI research

After being to CHI and another gathering of HCI related people in the last few weeks, I have to share one reflection. I am not sure that my observation and definitely not my interpretation is correct or not, so comments are welcome.

The observation is that the field of HCI research is growing in size but also in scope. What today is considered to be HCI research spans a far wider area than every before. HCI today includes research that traditionally might have been seen as engineering (for instance, design and development of devices and systems with the purpose to explore technical possibilities), it also includes research that traditionally would be seen as within the social sciences or behavioral sciences (the latter has of course always have been part of HCI), but also research that can be considered humanistic or cultural studies, political or global studies. The research has also expanded in scope when it comes to application areas such as education, health care, transportation, …

Interactivity Studies

One of the most neglected aspects of HCI is, in my view, the notion of interactivity. When I look at some of my own research I realize that I have engaged in interactivity studies for quite some time. I also realize (just back from CHI) that it is not a lot of research done in our field today with a focus on examining interactivity. 
Interactivity Studies means to me research that is focused on the aspect of our field that no other field or discipline focus on, that is, the actual interaction between humans and some form of computational artifacts. I am sure that many will argue against this statement and I am open to reconsider it when I am shown good examples of interactivity studies in the way I think about it. 
So, here are some publications that I have been involved with over the years that are clearly examples of Interactivity Studies.
Lars-Erik Janlert and Erik Stolterman. 2010. Complex interaction. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 17, 2, Article 8 (May 2010), 32 pages. DOI=10.…

CHI 2014 and theory

Being at CHI is, as everyone here can testify, overwhelming. Lots of people and ideas. It is exciting, even though difficult to make sense of it all. One observation that I have talked to some people about is the apparent interest in theoretical papers. Again this year we have had some sessions with theoretical papers where the room has been way too small. I take this as a sign that the field is really in need of more theory and that there is a shortage of good theoretical and philosophical papers. Personally, I find this exciting and I hope that it means that more people will take the time and effort to engage in theoretical and philosophical work.

AND hopefully CHI organizers will remember to schedule these papers in bigger rooms in the future :-)

CHI 2014 -- will it be the same or something new, and what does an answer really mean?

There are only a few days before CHI 2014 in Toronto. CHI is the largest and most important HCI conference in the world. It is also the most well organized conference I have ever been to. The value of CHI is, since it covers the whole field of HCI research, that it is the place where you can get a sense of what is going on, what are the new trends and ideas. Individual papers and presentations are to me less interesting than the way the whole conference moves, shifts and transforms. These shifts and changes are not always visible from year to year, but as soon as you take a longer view (I think even three years is long enough) you start to see that the field is constantly evolving. I get convinced that the changes are bigger and faster than most people believe when I talk to colleagues who have not been to CHI for a few years and have some strong opinions about the conference and you realize that their image of it does not correspond to what you experience.

However, there are of cours…

Notes regarding the notion of Device Landscapes

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Device Landscapes Erik Stolterman
I am working on the idea of device landscapes or ecologies of artifacts since some time back. Here are some notes on the topic. They are short and somewhat abstract, but they work for me. If you want to comment. add or change them, please let me know. -----------------------
A device landscape can be defined as “the landscape made up by all physical devices with some level of interactivity, made possible by digital technology, that one person owns or has access to and engages with”