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Accepted papers and demos

Proceedings online

The proceedings are online. Peer-reviewed papers for the main conference are available here, and workshop proposals and demo papers here.

Full Papers

Charismatic Technology

Morgan G. Ames - Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing, University of California, Irvine -

Abstract: To explain the uncanny holding power that some technologies seem to have, this paper presents a theory of charisma as attached to technology. It uses the One Laptop per Child project as a case study for exploring the features, benefits, and pitfalls of charisma. It then contextualizes OLPC’s charismatic power in the historical arc of other charismatic technologies, highlighting the enduring nature of charisma and the common themes on which the charisma of a century of technological progress rests. In closing, it discusses how scholars and practitioners in human-computer interaction might use the concept of charismatic technology in their own work.

Losing It

Williams, Kaiton - Cornell University -

Abstract: In this essay, I examine how personal informatics and self-tracking tools are taking account of experiences from the quotidian to the sublime, and how they incorporate and contribute to the shifting personal and political meaning of our bodies, our health, and our sense of our possibilities. Through a peripatetic journey grounded in a multi-year self-inflicted project of self-tracking and self-modification, I examine how these systems work to frame experience, subjectivity, and self-understanding, and how we might go about expressing our relationship with them. I also discuss how my widening inquiry into these tools and practices drove me from solitary practice to a community also seeking a similarly subjunctive understanding of the promise and everyday contours of technologically guided, deliberate experience---an evolving effort by individuals to jointly found and share their own anthropologies. This physical-to-political tracing of a publicly-engaged human experience reflects back on our work as researchers---that the search is not one that cannot simply be reduced to a search for numeric truth, small matters of concern, or an external locus of control and meaning, but one that uses the quest for self-understanding as a basis for building empathy and a universal register for speaking to the large matters that concern us all.

Interacting with an Inferred World: The Challenge of Machine Learning for Humane Computer Interaction

Blackwell, Alan - University of Cambridge -

Abstract: Classic theories of user interaction are framed in relation to symbolic representation of data and control. However, the behavior of modern machine-learning systems is determined by statistical models of the world rather than explicit symbolic descriptions. Users increasingly interact with the world and with others in ways that are mediated by such models. These models are starting to extend to prediction and anticipation of the user’s own actions. This paper explores the way in which this new generation of technology raises fresh challenges for the critical evaluation of interactive systems. It closes with some proposed measures for the design of inference-based systems that are more open to humane design and use.

Creating Friction: Infrastructuring Civic Engagement in Everyday Life

Matthias Korn    -    Indiana University, IUPUI, Indianapolis    -
Amy Voida    -    Indiana University, IUPUI, Indianapolis

Abstract: This paper introduces the theoretical lens of the everyday to intersect and extend the emerging bodies of research on contestational design and infrastructures of civic engagement. Our analysis of social theories of everyday life suggests a design space that distinguishes ‘privileged moments’ of civic engagement from a more holistic understanding of everyday as ‘product-residue.’ We analyze various efforts that researchers have undertaken to design infrastructures of civic engagement along two axes: the everyday-ness of the engagement fostered (‘privileged moments’ versus ‘product-residue’) and the underlying paradigm of political participation (consensus versus contestation). Our analysis reveals the dearth and promise of infrastructures that create friction—provoking contestation through use that is embedded in the everyday life of citizens. Ultimately, this paper is a call to action for designers to create friction.

Not The Internet, but This Internet: How Othernets Illuminate Our Feudal Internet

Dourish, Paul - UC Irvine -

Abstract: What is the Internet like, and how do we know? Less tendentiously, how can we make general statements about the Internet without reference to alternatives that help us to understand what the space of network design possibilities might be? This paper presents a series of cases of network alternatives which provide a vantage point from which to reflect upon the ways that the Internet does or does not uphold both its own design goals and our collective imaginings of what it does and how. The goal is to provide a framework for understanding how technologies embody promises, and how these both come to evolve.

Why Play? Examining the Roles of Play in ICTD

Ferreira, Pedro - Mobile Life Centre @ KTH, Stockholm -

Abstract: The role of technology in socio-economic development is at the heart of ICTD (ICTs for development). Yet, as with much Human Centered technology research, playful interactions with technology are predominantly framed around their instrumental roles, such as education, rather than their intrinsic value. This obscures playful activities and undermines play as a basic freedom. Within ICTD an apparent conflict is reinforced, opposing socio-economic goals with play, often dismissed as trivial or unaffordable. Recently a slow emergence of studies around play has led us to propose a framing of it as a capability, according to Amartya Sen, recognizing and examining its instrumental, constructive, and constitutive roles. We discuss how play unleashes a more honest and fair approach within ICTD, but most importantly, we argue how it is essentially a basic human need, not antithetical to others. We propose ways for the recognition and legitimization of the play activity in ICTD.

Designed in Shenzhen: Shanzhai manufacturing and maker entrepreneurs

Lindtner, Silvia - University of Michigan -
Greenspan, Anna - New York University, Shanghai
David Li - Hacked Matter

Abstract: We draw from long-term research in Shenzhen, a manufacturing hub in the South of China, to critically unpack the question of participation in the contemporary discourse around maker culture. In lowering the barriers of technological production, “making” is being promoted as a new site of entrepreneurship, economic growth and innovation. Our research shows how the city of Shenzhen is figuring as a key site in implementing this vision. In this paper, we explore the ‘making of Shenzhen’ as the “Silicon Valley for hardware.” We examine, in particular, how maker entrepreneurs are drawn to processes of design and open source production central to the manufacturing culture of Shenzhen, and how these emerging collaborations challenge conceptual binaries of design as a creative process versus manufacturing as its numb execution. Drawing from the legacy of participatory design and critical computing, the paper examines the social, material, and economic conditions that underlie the growing relationship between contemporary maker culture and the concomitant remake of Shenzhen. The paper concludes by calling upon researchers and designers to incorporate the material practices of contemporary production into the development of a critical sensibility of design and computing.

Gained, Lost, and Gone Awry: Tactically Engaging HCI

Khovanskaya, Vera - Cornell University -
Baumer, Eric - Cornell University
Sengers, Phoebe - Cornell University

Abstract: Critically oriented researchers within HCI have drawn from a fruitful intersection of design and critical analysis to engage users and other designers in reflection on underlying values, assumptions and dominant practices in technology. To successfully integrate this work within the HCI community, critically oriented researchers have tactically engaged with dominant practices within HCI in the design and evaluation of their work. This paper draws attention to the ways that tactical engagement with aspects of HCI evaluation methodology shapes and bears consequences for critically oriented research. We reflect on three of our own experiences evaluating critically oriented designs and trace challenges that we faced to the ways that sensibilities about generalizable knowledge are manifested in HCI evaluation methodology. Drawing from our own experiences as well as other influential critically oriented design projects in HCI, we articulate some of the trade-offs involved in consciously adopting or not adopting certain normative aspects of HCI evaluation. We argue that some forms of this engagement can hamstring researchers from pursuing their intended research goals and have consequences beyond specific research projects to affect the normative discourse in the field as a whole.

Human-computer interaction as science

Reeves, Stuart - University of Nottingham -

Abstract: The human-computer interaction (HCI) has had a long and troublesome relationship to the role of ‘science’. HCI’s status as an academic object in terms of coherence and adequacy is often in question—leading to desires for establishing a true scientific discipline. In this paper I explore formative cognitive science influences on HCI, through the impact of early work on the design of input devices. I unpack a core idea that I argue has animated much HCI research since: the notion of scientific design spaces. In evaluating this concept, I disassemble the broader ‘picture of science’ in HCI and its role in constructing a disciplinary order for the increasingly diverse and overlapping research communities that contribute in some way to what we call ‘HCI’. In concluding I explore notions of rigour and debates around how we might reassess HCI’s disciplinarity.

On Creating Sustainable Alternatives: The case of Danish Telehealth

Kyng, Morten - Aarhus University -

Abstract: This paper presents and discusses an initiative aimed at creating direct and long lasting influence on the use and development of telemedicine and telehealth by healthcare professionals, patients and citizens. The initiative draws on ideas, insights, and lessons learned from Participatory Design (PD) as well as from innovation theory and software ecosystems. Last, but not least, the ongoing debate on public finances/economy versus tax evasion by major private companies has been an important element in shaping the vision and creating support for the initiative. This vision is about possibilities for democratic control, and the main mechanism is sustainable structures for such control. In combination they facilitate creation of Participatory design projects, and sustain the results of such projects.

The User Reconfigured: On Subjectivities of Information

Bardzell, Jeffrey - Indiana University -
Bardzell, Shaowen - Indiana University

Abstract: Foundational to HCI is the notion of “the user.” Whether a cognitive processor, social actor, consumer, or even a non-user, the user in HCI has always been as much a technical construct as actual people using systems. We explore an emerging formulation of the user—the subjectivity of information—by laying out what it means and why researchers are being drawn to it. We then use it to guide a case study of a relatively marginal use of computing—digitally mediated sexuality—to holistically explore design in relation to embodiment, tactual experience, sociability, power, ideology, selfhood, and activism. We argue that subjectivities of information clarifies the relationships between design choices and embodied experiences, ways that designers design users and not just products, and ways to support design with social activist aspirations.

Material Speculation: Actual Artifacts for Critical Inquiry

Wakkary, Ron - Simon Fraser University -
William Odom - Simon Fraser University
Sabrina Hauser - Simon Fraser University
Garnet Hertz - Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Henry Lin - Simon Fraser University

Abstract: Speculative and fictional approaches have long been implemented in human-computer interaction and design techniques through scenarios, prototypes, forecasting, and envisionments. Recently, speculative and critical design approaches have reflectively explored and questioned possible, and preferable futures in HCI research. We propose a complementary concept – material speculation – that utilizes actual and situated design artifacts in the everyday as a site of critical inquiry. We see the literary theory of possible worlds and the related concept of the counterfactual as informative to this work. We present five examples of interaction design artifacts that can be viewed as material speculations, and conclude with a generalizable summary of attributes of what we see as important to material speculation.

Short papers

Concordance: A Critical Participatory Alternative in Healthcare IT

Erik Grönvall - IT University of Copenhagen -
Nervo Verdezoto - Aarhus University
Naveen Bagalkot - Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology
Tomas Sokoler - IT University of Copenhagen

Abstract: The healthcare sector is undergoing large changes with technology taking on a larger role in both in-clinic consultations and out-of-clinic care. As the provision of care moves out of the hospitals and into people’s everyday lives the authoritative models of compliance and adherence and their hierarchical definitions of the patient-healthcare professional relationship are being challenged and other, more democratic and collaborative models emerging. Concordance is a model that favours an equal patient-doctor relationship and negotiation of care regimens. This article will identify critical alternatives to how care and healthcare IT may be designed based on best practice from both the medical and design research fields. In particular, this paper proposes ongoing design processes in which both care and healthcare IT are jointly designed in a concordance-influenced collaboration over time.

Deconstructivist Interaction Design: Interrogating Expression and Form

Martin Murer - University of Salzburg -
Verena Fuchsberger - University of Salzburg
Manfred Tscheligi - University of Salzburg

Abstract: In this paper, we propose deconstructivist interaction design in order to facilitate the differentiation of an expressional vocabulary in interaction design. Based on examples that illustrate how interaction design critically explores (i.e., deconstructs) its own expressional repertoire, we argue that there are commonalities with deconstructivist phases in related design disciplines to learn from. Therefore, we draw on the role and characteristics of deconstructivism as a phase in the disciplinary history of architecture, graphic design, and fashion. Afterwards, we reflect on how interaction design is already a means of deconstruction (e.g., in critical design). Finally, we discuss the potential of deconstructivism for form-giving practices, resulting in a proposal to extend interaction design’s expressional vocabulary of giving form to computational material by substantiating a deconstructivist perspective.

Note to Self: Stop Calling Interfaces "Natural"

Lone Koefoed Hansen - Aarhus University -
Peter Dalsgaard - Aarhus University

Abstract: The term “natural” is employed to describe a wide range of novel interactive products and systems, ranging from gesture-based interaction to brain-computer interfaces and in marketing as well as in research. However, this terminology is problematic. It establishes an untenable dichotomy between forms of interaction that are natural and those that are not; it draws upon the positive connotations of the term and conflates the language of research with marketing lingo, often without a clear explanation of why novel interfaces can be considered natural; and it obscures the examination of the details of interaction that ought to be the concern of HCI researchers. We are primarily concerned with identifying the problem, but also propose two steps to remedy it: recognising that the terminology we employ in research has consequences, and unfolding and articulating in more detail the qualities of interfaces that we have hitherto labelled “natural”.

Personal Data: Thinking Inside the Box

Amir Chaudhry - University of Cambridge -
Heidi Howard - University of Cambridge
Hamed Haddadi - Queen Mary University of London
Jon Crowcroft - University of Cambridge
Anil Madhavapeddy -University of Cambridge
Richard Mortier - University of Cambridge

Abstract: We are in a 'personal data gold rush', driven by the dominance of advertising as the primary revenue source for most online companies. These companies try to accumulate extensive personal data about individuals with, unfortunately, minimal consideration of *us*, the subjects of this process. This causes a range of harms: privacy infringement, personal and professional embarrassment, reduction in access to labour markets, inequality of access to low pricing for goods, and many others. There is a critical need to provide technical alternatives to current practice, to enable individuals to participate in these processes of collection, management and consumption of personal data, returning elements of control to the individual. In this paper we discuss one envisioned embodiment of such means, the Databox, a *personal*, networked device and services that collate personal data, empowering each of us to take back control of our online lives, and so helping re-balance the current asymmetry of power between us, the data subjects, and the corporations that collect, hold and use our data.

Gaza Everywhere: exploring the applicability of a rhetorical lens in HCI

Omar Sosa-Tzec - Indiana University -
Erik Stolterman - Indiana University
Martin Siegel - Indiana University

Abstract: Rhetoric, a human ability for influencing people through communication, can be embodied through several symbolic visual artifacts that affect people’s beliefs, attitudes and values. By considering application software as one type of those artifacts, a rhetorical lens could help to highlight their social, ethical and moral implications for people. In this paper, we focused on one possibility for such a lens: application software working as a visual enthymeme, the visual form of a rhetorical argument. To explore the applicability of that concept in HCI, we chose to analyze one web application as a first step. In our analysis, we observe that interaction and usability are two features that support for an application function as a visual enthymeme. Also, online sharing could help the user take the role of the arguer. This analysis helps us to outline the elements of a user-centric persuasive experience and encourages us to continue with our exploration regarding the applicability of rhetoric in HCI. Due to the pervasive aspect of rhetoric and technology in our present and future, we invite the research community to shed light on such an exploration.

Computing and the Common. Hints of a new utopia in Participatory Design

Teli Maurizio - University of Trento -

Abstract: In this paper, I draw upon the need of Participatory Design to engage with new utopias. I point to contemporary critical theories and to concurrent social conditions that make possible to identify the construction of the common as a possible utopia. In conclusion, I suggest that forms of community-based participatory design could be actual practices supporting such utopia.

In Search of Fairness: Critical Design Alternatives for Sustainability

Somya Joshi - Stockholm University -
Teresa Cerratto Pargman - Stockholm University

Abstract: Caught between the infinite promise unleashed by technology proliferation and the unprecedented scale of resource depletion, waste and inequity, we inhabit a space where critical alternatives are sought more than ever. As a reflection of the above, we find in HCI, a slant towards technological fixes to existing sustainability problems, as opposed to a more holistic approach that includes behavioural and societal change. It is within this context that this paper is situated, where we propose a socio-ecological approach and argue our case for a life-cycle lens towards building systems that are in line with current understanding of the earth’s finite resources. We do so by presenting an illustrative case study of what such critical alternatives might look like, by examining the Fairphone movement. We contribute to a deeper understanding of how social value laden enterprises along with open technological design can shape sustainable relationships between our environment and us.

Revisiting the UsersAward Programme from a Value Sensitive Design Perspective

Åke Walldius - KTH, Royal Institute of Technology -
Jan Gulliksen - KTH, Royal Institute of Technology
Yngve Sundblad - KTH, Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: The goal of the UsersAward (UA) programme is to develop and maintain a strategy for enhancing the quality of workplace software through on-going user-driven quality assessment. One of the programme’s key activities is performing large domain specific user surveys building on a set of quality criteria derived from the USER CERTIFIED 2002 and 2006 instruments. In 2005 we performed a first analysis of the values that inform the criteria and procedure making up the 2002 instrument, using the Value Sensitive Design methodology. This paper is a follow-up of that study. We report on new types of stakeholders having engaged with the UA programme and reflect on how some of the social, technical and conceptual considerations of the programme have changed as a consequence.

Networked Privacy Beyond the Individual: Four Perspectives to ‘Sharing’

Airi Lampinen -Mobile Life Centre, Stockholm University -

Abstract: Synthetizing prior empirical studies, this paper provides conceptual grounding for understanding the dialectic of novel challenges and opportunities that social network sites present to daily social life. With the help of the framework of interpersonal boundary regulation, this paper casts privacy as something people do, together, instead of depicting it as a characteristic or a possession. I outline four perspectives to ‘sharing’ that illustrate different interpersonal aspects of networked privacy. These perspectives call for a rethink of networked privacy beyond the individual’s online endeavors.



Alexander Lamar - Virginia Tech 
Timmy Meyer - Virginia Tech 
Loran Steinberger - Virginia Tech 
Steve Harrison - Advisor, Virginia Tech

Abstract: Legere is a work of critical technology-art that examines the intersection between novels and visual media as two different forms of entertainment. It is set to mimic television -- the program, displayed on an old television set, has a set number of channels that the user can flip through with a remote. Each channel concurrently plays a long-running audiobook, and using speech-recognition, the program flashes the book's text at the user in sync with the narration. The exhibit is meant to mock a living room atmosphere by adding a couch, coffee table, and other peripherals like a rug, to the project space.

Presenting Author: Alex Lamar

OPENKI: The Platform for Open Education

Urban Sand - Autonome Schule Zurich
Stephan Balmer - Denk:mal Bern
Luca Obertufer - Autonome Schule Frauenfeld 
Emre Sarigol - ETH Zurich

Abstract: In this demo we aim to introduce and demonstrate OPENKI, an interactive web-platform designed and developed with the aim of facilitating a barrier-free access to education. In a nutshell, OPENKI is an open-source tool to facilitate self-organized, regionalized and offline knowledge exchange. It provides a basis for mediating non-commercial education opportunities by means of acting as a meeting point for individuals interested in similar subjects. The platform connects individuals who are interested learning or teaching specific topics, or have a physical space to offer where the coordinated events can take place, and gather themselves around interest groups. Through its lightweight interface, all stages of a learning processes are made possible from the selection of topics and the organization and execution of courses up to the documentation of the learning material.

Presenting Author: Emre Sarigol

Light is Loud: A Sound Driven LED Suit

Artur Aguiar - Virginia Tech
Bryan Malyn - Virginia Tech
Evan Lobeto - Virginia Tech
Steve Harrison - Virginia Tech

Abstract: We approach performance as fundamentally a hybrid situation: that performer and technology are united in a post-phenomenological embrace. Light is Loud takes this as a starting point: the form of the performer is subsumed into an array of lights that takes the temporal shape of a self-referential text. The loss of the human form in the piece becomes a critical statement on the ambiguity of hybridity.

In a completely darkened space, a figure with some strips of LEDs speaks a short poem overtly on the nature of "loud". While the title of the piece, Light is Loud, suggests "dazzling", the effect is a meditation on the nature of quiet.

Presenting Author: Bryan Malyn

AmBird: Mediating Intimacy for Long Distance Relationships through an Ambient Awareness System

Sine Jespersen - Aarhus University
Rasmus Stounbjerg - Aarhus University
Nervo Verdezoto - Aarhus University

Abstract: This paper introduces the AmBird concept that explores how to provide alternatives for mediating intimacy for people that are living apart. The initial design and implementation of the AmBird concept is described as well as a preliminary concept validation. Based on the lessons learned, we highlight the opportunities of AmBird to support multiple intimate acts and our future work.

Tilting\Plate and Bending\Arches: Shape-Changing Interfaces as Expressive Forms

Morten Winther - IT University of Copenhagen

Abstract: How can designers gain a better sensibility for designing more sensory engaging and aesthetically pleasing objects as well as for the expressive richness and potentials of shape-change? The two exploratory prototypes, Tilting\Plate and Bending\Arches, investigate the visceral, aesthetic dimensions of shape-changing interfaces. While shape-change is currently receiving a lot of attention in Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) and interaction design, less attention has been given to the expressive qualities of such interfaces. The prototypes presented here focus on the immediate, aesthetic potentials of shape-change and illustrate the expressional diversity and richness of actuation. Aesthetic explorations can also help to identify radically new applicational uses of shape-change as a design modality.

Presenting Author: Morten Winther

The Messaging Kettle: It’s IoTea time

Alessandro Soro - Queensland University of Technology
Margot Brereton - Queensland University of Technology
Paul Roe - Queensland University of Technology

Abstract: It’s time to consider people in designing the Internet of Things (IoT). We demonstrate a working prototype of a Messaging Kettle. It is designed to facilitate asynchronous communication and enable a sense of presence between adult children and their older parents living remotely from them through the familiar comfort routine of boiling the kettle to make a cup of tea. Our goal is to offer a human centred critique of the Internet of Things, which has largely been conceived without consideration of the people who will use the things, and rather has traditionally moved from a technology oriented perspective. In the case of smart homes this approach has produced a wide array of projects focused on monitoring the habits of the elderly, recognizing anomalies and alerting the caregivers. In contrast we propose to focus on engagement and reciprocity, building on the rituals associated with habitually used and cherished objects. We conclude by revisiting the technology-oriented framework for the Internet of Things to include our observations on people’s perspectives on smart communicating objects.

Presenting Author: Margot Brereton