A couple of weeks ago I took part in a one and a half day workshop on Social Interactions and Mundane Technologies (SIMTech 2008), held at our lab in Cambridge. There were some great papers presented, and some excellent keynotes by Bill Gaver, Abi Sellen and Jonathan Grudin.
Dave Kirk and I submitted a position paper entitled On the Design of Technology Heirlooms (PDF), which Dave presented on the Friday, discussing some of the early thinking and planning that we’re doing generally around the theme of how technology objects (software and hardware) are bequeathed across the generations. It’s an attempt to think a little more long term about the life span of technology, partially for sustainability reasons (“how do we design objects that people will want to keep, and are therefore discarded less?”), partially for pragmatic reasons (“what will happen when I inherit my parents digital photo collection – where will I keep it, how will I take care of it?”) and partially because this feels like a generally unexplored space, from a design perspective (plenty of anthropological and sociological research, I know).
It’s a huge and sprawling area that we’re only just starting to get our teeth into.
Dave presents the paper.
Abi tackles memory
Bill shows Goldsmith’s work
Jonathan takes a shot at the mundane