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NORTH Lab and Northumbria University researchers are involved in three full papers being presented at the 2017 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. We are also organising two workshops, and have three posters. Much of this work arises from collaboration with our colleagues at Open Lab, Newcastle University, but also with researchers at the University of Edinburgh, University of York, University of Nottingham, Google Inc, Georgia Tech, University of Dundee, University College Cork and the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute.

Below is an overview of all the contributions at the conference, with links to the relevant papers.


New Value Transactions: Understanding and Designing for Distributed Autonomous Organisations

Bettina Nissen, University of Edinburgh, Kate Symons, University of Edinburgh, Ella Tallyn, University of Edinburgh, Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh, Deborah Maxwell, University of York, John Vines, Northumbria University

New digital technologies such as Blockchain and smart contracting are rapidly changing the face of value exchange, and present exciting new opportunities for designers. This one-day workshop will explore the implications of emerging and future technologies using the lens of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs). DAOs introduce the principle that products and services may soon be owned and managed collectively and not by one person or authority, thus challenging traditional concepts of user communities, ownership and power. The HCI community has recently explored issues related to fi nance, money and collaborative practice; however, the implications of these emerging but rapidly ascending distributed technologies has not been examined. This one-day participatory workshop will combine presentations, case studies and group work sessions to understand, develop and critique these new forms of distributed power and ownership, and to practically explore how to design interactive products and services which enable, challenge or disrupt these emerging models. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064857.3064862


People, Personal Data and the Built Environment

Holger Schnädelbach, University of Nottingham, David Kirk, Northumbria University, Nicholas Dalton, Nortumbria University, Elizabeth Churchill, Google Inc, Nils Jäger, University of Nottingham, Sara Nabil Ahmed, Newcastle University

Personal data is increasingly important in our lives. We use personal data to quantify our behaviour, through health apps or for ‘personal branding’ and we are also increasingly forced to part with our data to access services. With a proliferation of embedded sensors, the built environment is playing a key role in this developing use of data, even though this remains relatively hidden. Buildings are sites for the capture of personal data, such as ID card gateways or wifi hotspots. This data is used to adapt buildings to people’s behaviour, and increasingly, organisations use this data to understand how buildings are occupied and how communities develop. This workshop will bring together a community of researchers and practitioners interested in personal informatics and the design of interactive buildings and environments to foster critical discussion on the future role of personal data in interactions with the built environment. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064857.3064864



Interioractive: Smart Materials in the Hands of Designers and Architects for designing Interactive Interiors

Sara Nabil, Newcastle University; David Kirk, Northumbria University; Thomas Ploetz, Georgia Institute of Technology, Julie Trueman, Northumbria University; David Chatting, Newcastle University; Dmitry Dereshev, Northumbria University; Patrick Olivier, Newcastle University.

The application of Organic User Interface (OUI) technologies will revolutionize interior design, through the development of interactive and actuated surfaces, furnishings and decorative artefacts. However, to adequately explore these new design landscapes we must support multidisciplinary collaboration between Architects, Interior Designers and Technologists. Herein, we present the results of two workshops, with a total of 45 participants from the disciplines of Architecture and Interior Design, supported by a group of HCI researchers. Our objective was to study how design disciplines can productively engage with smart materials as a design resource using an evolving set of techniques to prototype new interactive interior spaces. Our paper reports on our experiences across the two workshops and contributes an understanding of techniques for supporting multidisciplinary collaboration when designing interactive interior spaces. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064663.3064745


Designing Documentary Informatics

Chris Elsden, Newcastle University; Abigail Durrant, Northumbria University; David Chatting, Newcastle University; David Kirk, Northumbria University

In this paper, we describe a Research through Design inquiry about a speculative wedding documentation service, in the mode of the Quantified Self. We reflect on our design research, which included design ethnography, interviews, enactments of parts of the service, and the production of a concept brochure. In so doing, we explore the design of personal tracking as a documentary activity, one intended for longer-term self-expression and remembering – rather than simply to monitor, regulate and motivate a data-driven life. Developing the Lived Informatics discourse, we use our design-led inquiry to propose ‘Documentary Informatics’ as an alternative and longer-term design perspective on self-tracking tools. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064663.3064714


Do-It-Yourself Empowerment as Experienced by Novice Makers with Disabilities

Janis Meissner, Newcastle University; John Vines, Northumbria University; Peter Wright, Janice McLaughlin, Tom Nappey, Newcastle University; Jekaterina Maksimova, University of Dundee

Recent HCI research has highlighted the potential afforded by maker technologies for supporting new forms of DIY Assistive Technology (DIY-AT) for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the popular discourse surrounding both the maker movement and disability is one of democratisation and empowerment. Despite this, critics argue that maker movement membership lacks diversity and that within DIY-AT, it is seldom the people with disabilities who are creating such designs. We conducted a qualitative study that explored how people with disabilities experience the empowering potential of making. We analysed online videos by makers with disabilities and conducted fieldwork at two makerspaces. These informed the design of DIY-Abilities, a series of workshops for people with disabilities in which participants could learn different maker technologies and complete their own maker project. Through analysis of participants’ narratives we contribute a new perspective on the specific social and material capacities of accessible maker initiatives. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064663.3064674



An Augmented Reality Game using Face Recognition Technology. Tom Feltwell, Northumbria University; Gavin Wood, Northumbria University; Conor Linehan, University College Cork; Shaun Lawson, Northumbria University. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064857.3079117

A Provocation for Rethinking and Democratising Emoji Design. Selina Sutton, Northumbria University; Shaun Lawson, Northumbria University. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064857.3079109

Reconstrained Design: A Manifesto. Julian Hanna, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute; James Auger, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute; Enrique Encinas, Northumbria University. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064857.3079141



Speculative Approaches to Understanding DAOs. Chris Elsden, Northumbria University; John Vines, Northumbria University [contact Chris Elsden]

Drawing[s] on experiences of self in transition: A visual dialogue. Nantia Koulidou, Northumbria University; Jayne Wallace, Northumbria University [download here]

Integrating sensor data with building information models: towards the design of more effective building interactions. Kay Rogage, Northumbria University; Adrian Clear, Northumbria University [download here]