|The theme of the workshop
The dwelling of the information society will, probably,
represent a wider spectrum of activities integrated in time and space.
What will happen is that we, to a much greater extent than
today, will work from home, shop from home and take care of the
elder population in their homes with support from different IT solutions.
We will also increase to use our domestic environments
for professional work. Our key argument is that we will spend more and
more time in our homes, where we will also accomplish a wider
range of activities, including professional work. The reasons for
increased work, and co-operative work as well, in our
homes are - despite the prerequisites of available IT tools - among others:
The widened range of activities in the domestic life and
the technology push will lead to an extended need for communication facilities.
These will diversify into a set of communication units for
different kinds of use. The motivation for acquiring some technologies
in domestic environments might even be derived from
the dual purpose of fulfilling both social and professional needs.
New social trends and values in a diversified individual
perspective where the limits between the private,
e.g. the family life, and the public, e.g. work, are
Changing organizational and economical structure within companies
New attitudes from a political view, both national and international.
However the shortage of detailed knowledge of activities
in the home is highlighted as a major issue in understanding the situated
nature of technologies.
One way of understanding the use and daily practice of
computers in household settings is by performing a series of extensive
studies, which explore the Longitudinal and cross
sectional surveys combined with ethnographic studies. These studies could
be used to develop a model of technology based on
conveying the use of technology in the home.
We suggest that studies based on ethnographic tradition
offer some contribution to the formulation of greater understanding of
the home. Our aim is to work towards a framework for
the analysis of the social organization of the household as a means of
successfully underlying the design of interactive
systems in this area.
By way of contrast with existing studies the ethnomethociological
approach we adopt takes as red the fact that order is produced in and
through the accomplishment of members as they undertake mundane
Another way of understanding different kinds of communication
systems in domestic environments is to utilize architectural metaphors
in our interpretation of a system. To date, it seems
that the imitation of architectural or urban spaces has been the dominant
strategy for most of the multi-media telepresence
systems. All of these electronic systems are based on a rationale of projecting
architectural props into an electronic
space, i.e. a room or a table. We would like to argue
that such metaphors should be pushed even further.
We will experience new ways of communicating in our domestic
environments. The technology will, e.g., permit us to break limitations
in physical proximity by real-time video communications. Radically different
means of connecting places is that everyone can "be their own television
broadcaster" and make, i.e., a family home page that opens up the physical
family household environment to become more public.
In the context of this workshop have privacy concerns
turned out to be of special interest. In particular, as some places of
the future dwelling will become semi-public places, like the family hallway,
a dilemma exists where the private, individual, and public space meets.
We believe that this, among other social issues, will
become crucial to whether new technology in domestic environments will
gain momentum or fail. Our shared experiences from the
CSCW community are here a unique resource to further study similar phenomena’s
in these new environments.
|A description of activities and
The goal of the workshop is to understand and experience
the practice of professional work and use of advanced communication technology
in domestic environments. This will be accomplished through
a collaborative exploration into the territory of empirical research in
CSCW and its increasing important focus of technological
change. Of pecial interest for the workshop will be to identify where –
and where not - already known methods and practice
could be applied in domestic environments.
We are planning to set up a half-day workshop around these
themes. If the participants to the workshop agree we will prepare the format
of the discussion with some flavor of participatory
design, by using some of our past experience from organizing similar workshops.
The result from these exercises will reflect around the
participant’s position paper. Finally we are planning to conclude the results
from the workshop as a brief report edited by one
of the organizer.
Background of the organizers
Jon O’Brien, is a lecturer in culture and communication
at Lancaster University. His main research interest in CSCW. In his current
work his main focus has been to involve his interests
in ethnomethodological studies of work, organization and use of technology
in everyday life. O’Brien has in this context performed
several ethnomethodological studies of the attitudes and use of technology
in domestic environments. O’Brien has organized workshops around similar
topics at CSCW96 and ECSCW97
Konrad Tollmar, is a research project leader at CID, Center
for User Oriented IT Design, a multidisciplinary competence centre located
at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology. Tollmar
has been doing CSCW related research since 1992. His main interest has
been towards design issues of CSCW systems. Recently
he shifted his research interest towards non-professional use of communication
systems in everyday use, including domestic environments. Ongoing
research includes, e.g., studies of attitudes and expectations, and later
on implementation, of broadband facilities in recendential apartments.
Stefan Junestrand, is a researcher at the department of
Architectural Design and Technology. His main interest is IT in the dwelling
out of an architectural point of view. Current research
projects include measuring and evaluation of IT installations in dwellings.
Junestrand is also involved in design and construction
of new types of dwellings where the design concept is based on IT installations
for communication and work.
A priori the workshop interested are requested to send
in a position paper where they are asked to state their specific interest
in the area. We will select participants for the workshops
by a soft judgement based in these position papers. For those that we believe
could both contribute and learn from the workshop
an email discussion will then take place to set the agenda for the workshop.
We believe that these two processes will in natural way soliciting
motivated participation to the workshop.