160 research outputs found

    Artefact Ecologies: Supporting Embodied Meeting Practices with Distance Access

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    Frameworks such as activity theory, distributed cognition and structuration theory, amongst others, have shown that detailed study of contextual settings where users work (or live) can help the design of interactive systems. However, these frameworks do not adequately focus on accounting for the materiality (and embodiment) of the contextual settings. Within the IST-EU funded AMIDA project (Augmented Multiparty Interaction with Distance Access) we are looking into supporting meeting practices with distance access. Meetings are inherently embodied in everyday work life and that material artefacts associated with meeting practices play a critical role in their formation. Our eventual goal is to develop a deeper understanding of the dynamic and embodied nature of meeting practices and designing technologies to support these. In this paper we introduce the notion of "artefact ecologies" as a conceptual base for understanding embodied meeting practices with distance access. Artefact ecologies refer to a system consisting of different digital and physical artefacts, people, their work practices and values and lays emphasis on the role artefacts play in embodiment, work coordination and supporting remote awareness. In the end we layout our plans for designing technologies for supporting embodied meeting practices within the AMIDA project. \u

    Workplace Surfaces as Resource for Social Interactions

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    Space and spatial arrangements play an important role in our everyday social interactions. The way we use and manage our surrounding space is not coincidental, on the contrary, it reflects the way we think, plan and act. Within collaborative contexts, its ability to support social activities makes space an important component of human cognition in the post-cognitive era. As technology designers, we can learn a lot by rigorously understanding the role of space for the purpose of designing collaborative systems. In this paper, we describe an ethnographic study on the use of workplace surfaces in design studios. We introduce the idea of artful surfaces. Artful surfaces are full of informative, inspirational and creative artefacts that help designers accomplish their everyday design practices. The way these surfaces are created and used could provide information about how designers work. Using examples from our fieldwork, we show that artful surfaces have both functional and inspirational characteristics. We indentify four types of artful surfaces: personal, shared, project-specific and live surfaces. We believe that a greater insight into how these artful surfaces are created and used could lead to better design of novel display technologies to support designers' everyday work

    Dynamics of Affordances and Implications for Design

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    Affordance is an important concept in HCI. There are various interpretations of affordances but it has been difficult to use this concept for design purposes. Often the treatment of affordances in the current HCI literature has been as a one-to-one relationship between a user and an artefact. According to our views, affordance is a dynamic, always emerging relationship between a human and his environment. We believe that the social and cultural contexts within which an artefact is situated affect the way in which the artefact is used. Using a Structuration Theory approach, we argue that affordances need also be treated at a much broader level, encompassing social and cultural aspects. We suggest that affordances should be seen at three levels: single user, organizational (or work group) and societal. Focusing on the organizational level affordances, we provide details of several important factors that affect the emergence of affordances

    Sexually Dimorphic Developmental Patterns of Chemosensory Behaviors in African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana)

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    Like many polygynous mammals, African elephants exhibit social dimorphism in which females reside in matriarchal groups while males often travel alone or in bachelor groups. Males search for receptive mates who may advertise their condition through chemical and other signals. The difference in adult lifestyles suggests that the developmental pattern of communication for the two sexes should diverge when the social environment and reproductive opportunities of males and females begin to differ. In this study, I examined the differences between the sexes and across four age classes (calves, juveniles, subadults and adults) in the performance of chemosensory behaviors. African elephants were studied at a waterhole in 2004-5 at Ndarakwai Ranch, Tanzania. I identified 277 elephants and 26 distinct female-offspring groups. Sex differences in the chemosensory repertoire and rate of behaviors were evident for subadults but not for the younger age classes. Males showed a higher rate of chemosensory behaviors than females and adults performed chemosensory behaviors more often than calves. Chemosensory responses to a standard stimulus increased in each subsequent age class for males, but showed no age class differences for females. The observed responses supported the hypothesis that chemical communication patterns would diverge during early puberty, indicating that the development of chemosensory behaviors occurs differently in the sexes in preparation for their disparate adult lifestyles

    Workplace surfaces as resource for social interactions

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    Space and spatial arrangements play an important role in our everyday social interactions. The way we use and manage our surrounding space is not coincidental, on the contrary, it reflects the way we think, plan and act. Within collaborative contexts, its ability to support social activities makes space an important component of human cognition in the post-cognitive era. As technology designers, we can learn a lot by rigorously understanding the role of space for the purpose of designing collaborative systems. In this paper, we describe an ethnographic study on the use of workplace surfaces in design studios. We introduce the idea of artful surfaces. Artful surfaces are full of informative, inspirational and creative artefacts that help designers accomplish their everyday design practices. The way these surfaces are created and used could provide information about how designers work. Using examples from our fieldwork, we show that artful surfaces have both functional and inspirational characteristics. We indentify four types of artful surfaces: personal, shared, project-specific and live surfaces. We believe that a greater insight into how these artful surfaces are created and used could lead to better design of novel display technologies to support designers’ everyday work

    Exploring Mediated Interactions: A Design Exercise

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    With the emergence of personal and ubiquitous computing systems in the last decade, interaction designers have started designing products by employing quality oriented aspects such as user experience, playfulness, enchantment and others. In order to explore novel forms of mediated interactions, designers need to focus beyond the basic user requirements and usability issues. We present a procedure and results of a design exercise that we carried out with students of a master’s course on Visual Design. Our intention was to explore new forms of mediated interaction by using a specific design exercise. We provide the details of the resulted design concepts and discuss the usefulness of our design exercise

    Making at the Margins: Making in an Under-resourced e-Waste Recycling Centre

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    HCI1and CSCW literature has extensively studied a wide variety of maker cultures. In this paper, we focus on understanding what making is like for people and communities who do not have access to advanced technological infrastructures. We report on six-month-long ethnographic fieldwork at a non-profit, resource-constrained, e-waste recycling centre that engages members from a low socioeconomic status (SES) community in making activities. Our findings show that making in such a setting is shaped by local economic and social factors in a resource-constrained environment and highlight how this community engages in a wide range of making activities. In describing these making activities, we emphasize how making was conducted to purposely enable ongoing and future making by others; promoted the wellbeing and skill development of centre members; and was socially-engaged to address concerns in the local community. We conclude by discussing how such type of making contributes a new understanding of maker culture, one that is appreciative of resource-constraints, integrates different sources of value, and is embedded in local place

    Mirrors of the World - Supporting Situational Awareness with Computer Screens

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    In this paper we develop a notion of support for social and situational awareness. Our initial ideas are based on the metaphor of using a mirror to see what you are not looking at. We provide two studies that, for different contexts, apply the metaphor to develop design ideas that fit the context of use

    Exploring Community Building with an Awareness Display

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    In this paper, we present a field trial of a pervasive system called Panorama that is aimed at supporting social awareness in work environments. Panorama is an intelligent situated display in the staff room of an academic department. It artistically represents non-critical user generated content such as images from holidays, conferences and other social gatherings, as well as textual messages on its display. It also captures images and videos from different public spaces of the department and streams them onto the Panorama screen, using appropriate abstraction techniques. We studied the use of Panorama for two weeks and observed how Panorama affected staff members’ social awareness and community building. We report that Panorama simulated curiosity and learning, initiated new interactions and provided a mechanism for cherishing old memories
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