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Designing Collaborative Media: A Challenge for CHI?

Open Access:

Löwgren, J., Reimer, B. (2012). Designing collaborative media: a challenge for CHI?. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference extended abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI EA ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 31-40.

ABSTRACT – Collaborative media refers to digital media where people outside the traditional media industries participate in production as well as infrastructural design. We argue that (1) people’s use of computers today increasingly comprise communicating in collaborative media, and that (2) designing collaborative media implies fundamental changes to design processes and designer roles, which in turn (3) forms a challenge to the proactive position of the CHI community in shaping future computer use.

Keywords: collaborative media; designing collaborative media


Article excerpt: CHI and collaborative media
The broad categories of computer-as-tool and computer-as-medium have been with us for a very long time. Arguably, it would be fair to say that interaction design as an academic discipline, as well as the CHI community, emanate from an intellectual tradition of concentrating mainly on the computer as a tool (but certainly including all manners of stationary, mobile, embedded and ubiquitous digital devices in the notion of “computer”). More recent developments have included a turn towards experience and non-instrumental aspects of computer use, and lately a growing body of studies on uses of “social media.”

In our view, however, a more serious challenge is starting to form for the CHI community. The way we see it, people’s use of computers today increasingly consists of communicating in collaborative media. If the CHI community wants to stay proactive in the sense of shaping the futures of computer use, then the issue of designing collaborative media will have to come to the fore. Our own work represents examples of interaction designers and media scholars experimenting with collaborative media in a research setting: What collaborative media practices and platforms could we envision, what would their properties and qualities be, and what would be the role of collaborative media designers? We feel that some of what we have learnt about designing collaborative media could be valuable to the CHI community.

Other articles published by Medea researchers at CHI 2012 and alt.chi 2012 are Mads Høbye’s Touchbox: Intriguing touch between strangers and Pelle Ehn’s and Per Linde’s et al What is the Object of Design?

Related articles
The concepts explored in this article are to be published in the MIT Press book Collaborative Media in 2013, along with several journal articles that are in the pipeline.

Copyright notice
Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. CHI’12, May 5–10, 2012, Austin, Texas, USA. Copyright 2012 ACM 978-1-4503-1016-1/12/05…$10.00.