Simone Barbosa, Gilbert Cockton
All too often we keep a narrow focus on interaction and interface design. In this issue’s cover story, Dan Rosenberg brings business constraints to center stage alongside the usual UX design constraints and discusses the tension between them. With a similar goal, David Siegel makes concrete recommendations for UX to play a stronger role in product strategy and conceptual design decisions.
In the Special Topic on Design Futures, Chris Le Dantec invites us to break out of the daily constraints of interaction design and reframe our work to enable novel interpretations of the world. Contributors Dan Russell and Lana Yarosh examine the tension between speculative and pragmatic ideation when drawing inspiration from science fiction. Woodrow Winchester, III, brings us Afrofuturism as a way to embolden human-centered design to engage often underrepresented groups in context, thus imagining more empathic, inclusive, and impactful design solutions. Closing the Special Topic, Sandjar Kozubaev calls upon designers to expand how futures are imagined, experienced, and contested to tackle the myriad challenges we now face. To create more equitable futures, Vera Khovanskaya and colleagues provoke us to design against the status quo, leveraging design’s close alignment with production. Also looking into reinterpreting the present, Silvia Lindtner provides a small sample of the books that have helped her make sense of the contradictions of making as both fringe to and influencer of markets. And to envision the future of architecture, Charlotte Wiberg prompts us to turn to the gaming industry.
Participation is another theme in this issue: Ahmed Seffah discusses challenges and opportunities that citizen observatories bring to human-data interaction; Becca Rose Glowacki shows how tangible objects can invite children to participate in playful social experiences; and Leo Kang and Steven Jackson urge us to look at participatory and collaborative art practice as a method for HCI research and inquiry. Lui Ciolfi invites us to take a more participatory stance when designing in cultural heritage contexts, a special challenge for STEM students engaging with culturally distant communities, as Shaimaa Lazem and colleagues report in Blog@IX. Margot Brereton and colleagues introduce us to the Design Participation Lab in Brisbane, where they explore novel socio-enviro-technical systems with a dual humanitarian and environmental focus. Bringing nature home, Foad Hamidi and Melanie Baljko describe how an ambient digital living media system can help engage family members in spontaneous interactions, conversation, and collaboration. Participation in conferences is the theme of Uday Gajendar’s reflection upon what is necessary for conferences to be stages for conversation, allowing each participant their own journey as they connect and engage with other attendees.
This issue presents two views of promoting the growth of the HCI community worldwide: the PhillyCHI Board reflects on activities that have successfully engaged the Philadelphia HCI community, whereas Shaimaa Lazem and Susan Dray remind us about the diversity of our geography and culture by discussing the challenges and opportunities of HCI education in Africa.
Ben Bengler and colleagues describe the making of Collidoscope, a musical instrument to collaboratively explore real-world sounds. In Demo Hour, we find technologies that enhance our senses, either by helping us to navigate in the real world with tactoRing or by bringing our auditory memories to life with the Sound of a Hug. We also find technologies supporting exploratory and collaborative design: to construct mechanical papercraft using expressive paper machines (PaperMech), and to create stories combining the digital and physical worlds with Bear Abouts. Finally, EXIT moves us to feel the warmth and affection that technology can be designed to convey.
We are indebted to Chris Le Dantec for indulging us with a double contribution, editing both the Special Topic and the Community + Culture forum. Finally, we wholeheartedly welcome Anne Spaa, who is taking over as assistant to the editors-in-chief from Rachel Clarke. Rachel has been with us from the start of our journey with Interactions, not only skillfully keeping us on track but also effectively contributing as a curator of high-quality content. Rachel has paved the way for a smooth transition, and Anne has already dived in competently. Although this issue marks Rachel’s last contribution as assistant, we look forward to her contributions to Interactions in other capacities.
Simone Barbosa and Gilbert Cockton firstname.lastname@example.org
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