social interaction and mundane technologies GOINGS-ON

The GOINGS-ON page describes...

...reports on events associated with the project, such as workshops, presentations, tutorials and visits.

The latest GOINGS-ON are...

SIMTech '07 follow-up workshop: SIMTech'08

Cambridge, UK: 20 to 21 November 2007

This one and a half day international workshop at Microsoft Research, Cambridge at the end of 2008 attracted 3 keynote presentations from Jonathan Grudin, Abigail Sellen and William Gaver, 15 papers and 3 posters from researchers from the USA, all over the UK, The Netherlands, Finland, Germany and even as far away as Singapore and Australia. The workshop, once again, reported on research on social interaction and mundane technologies from settings all over the world. This year's workshop brought into focus issues emerging from interaction through everyday mobile technologies through gaming and messaging over Bluetooth. It also considered and re-examined ordinary artefacts and technologies in our everyday lives such as surfaces, pens and paper and Office applications. A strong theme once again this year was the methods used to investigate the mundane and the convergence between the mundane technologies such as blogs, photographs and digital video as, on one hand, a research tool and, on the other, as technology 'living' in families and communities, at once recording, effecting and impacting boundaries, relationships and change (Mynatt et al., 1998) within these groups. On the final day the papers considered the role of mundane technologies in and beyond death through considering appropriate approaches to the topic and possible designs that might work in commemorating and supporting remembering of others. More details of the workshop are are available from the SIMTech '08 Web site, including the program..

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Photo Technologies Half Day Symposium in Lancaster

InfoLab21, Lancaster University, 25 April 2008

We are holding a three-quarter day symposium on Photo Technologies at Lancaster University on 25th April 2008. More details are available from the Photo Technologies & Interspaces Seminar site.

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CHI '08 Workshops

Florence, Italy, April 2008

We attended CHI where we have a paper at the Co-located Social Practices Surrounding Photos and Technology in Mental Health workshops on 5th and 6th April respectively.

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National University of Singapore 'meet and greet'

Communications and New Media Programme, Singapore: 26-Mar-2008

Sun Sun Lim from the Communications and New Media Programme arranged a 'meet and greet' with some members of this group from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. A presentation on the project was also given describing general scope of the work and on some fieldwork investigating the use of photos in families in China. There was much discussion around the work, including:

  • A comparison between the terms 'domestication' and 'mundane';
  • Coverage of issues with the bridge into design from ethnographic findings (if any) and the difference between 'creative design' and 'engineering design';
  • Issues regarding the privacy of and ethics around the display of returns from participants;
  • Differences in the display of family photos in public places in the home across Singaporean, Korean, Japanese and Chinese homes.

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Xerox Research Centre presentation on Leadership

Grenoble, France: Jan-2008

This presentation, 'Technologies of Leadership', at the Work Practice Laboratory at Xerox Research Centre Europe described some early fieldwork at a law firm examining how everyday technologies are effected to complete leadership work.

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DesignSingapore presentation on Mundane Things

Singapore: 17-Dec-2007

This informal presentation, The Design of Mundane Things at DesignSingapore described a number of projects concerning the design of 'simple' technologies - text messaging, digital photo displays and blogging technologies.

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International Workshop on Project

Melbourne, Australia: 26 to 27 November 2007

This one and a half day international workshop at The University of Melbourne, Australia at the end of 2007 attracted 3 keynote presentations, 16 papers and 6 posters from researchers from Australia, the UK and the US. The workshop reported on research on social interaction and mundane technologies from settings all over the world, including Brazil, China and Kyrgyzstan. The workshop brought into focus issues of enforced accountability and visibility, temporality and transformation with regard to mundane technologies and the rhetoric which we use to describe them and the social interactions they support - 'intriguing', 'ordinary', 'spectacular' etc. The presentation, Photos as Mundane Technology, from the SIMTech project reported on fieldwork in South-West China using adaptations of Gaver et al's (1999) Cultural Probes to investigate the role of photos in family life: to express relationships and obligations and as placed and configured objects with particular aesthetic appeal. The other presentation, 'Leadership and Mundane Technologies' described the role of mundane technologies such as e-mail in 'leadership work' and as supportive of different forms of 'emotional labour' (Hochschild, 1983). More details of the workshop are are available from the SIMTech '07 Web site, including the program..

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ECSCW Workshop Keynote on Methods

Limerick, Ireland: 25-Sept-2007

This keynote presentation Mobile phones as cultural probes at this ECSCW 2007 workshop Techniques and Methodologies for Studying Technology Use 'In the Wild' described how mobile phones can be used as 'Cultural Probes' (Gaver et al., 1999) in a number of different settings involving personal and ubicomp technologies. The settings involved using these technologies for personal change, to support creative work and as part of the everyday life of being a research student, family member etc.

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Lancaster Workshop Presentations on Software Testing

InfoLab 21, Lancaster University, England: 21-Sept-2007

The two presentations, 'Testing, Testing' and Testing in Difficult Settings at this Testing Socio-Technical Systems Workshop at InfoLab21 reported on issues with software testing and ethnographic work in hospital, personal and domestic settings. The first presentation questioned the value of a randomised controlled trial for technology supporting radiologists and the second explored issues and problems with testing in a variety of 'sensitive' settings involving socio-digital systems.

Mobile HCI Workshop on Evaluation

Singapore: 9-Sept-2007

This keynote presentation "Free gigolo on 0422222460": evaluating public SMS interactions at this Mobile HCI 2007 workshop In Situ Evaluation described issues with systems supporting public interactions such as data quality and surveillance.

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Families and Communication Technologies Workshop Presentation on Multimedia Phones

Northumbria University, England: 24-May-2007

This presentation, A Multimedia Phone in Family Life, at this Family and Communication Technologies Workshop at Northumbria University reported on some ethnographic work in Australia on the impact of a multimedia phone introduced into three families. In particular it addressed: how lines and boundaries between work, rest and play were managed, the ;work' of keeping in touch; and the possibilities offered by multimedia phones as generators of digital 'life documents' (Plummer, 1983).

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CHI 'Shared Encounters' Workshop Presentation on Blogs

San Jose, USA: 29-Apr-2007

This presentation, ‘Sharing Places’, Digital Content and Lived Life, at this 'Shared Encounters' Workshop at CHI '07 reviewed work on mobile blogging and pervasive image capture and sharing (PICS). It also discussed possible uses of mobile life blogging for supporting life change (e.g. quitting smoking).

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Visit to CISCO Asia Pacific

Singapore: 22-Feb-2007

I visited CISCO’s Asia Pacific Headquarters in Singapore. Specifically I viewed the Customer Briefing Centre. CISCO seemed to be addressing two issues through this facility (from our perspective anyway):

  • How to sell products that lack visible functionality, physicality, form factor, a user interface and corporeality;
  • How to conduct a product demonstration to ‘show that it works’ given this.

I viewed their welcome area (top left), general briefing centre (bottom left), and system engineer briefing centre. I also talked with a member of the Customer Briefing Team in Hong Kong via their video conferencing facility: zero visual latency, no traces left by movement, exceptional level of detail and multidirectional sound. I had to literally stop myself from reaching out and shaking his hand!

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