Jon Kolko, Bill Lucas
Over the past 25 years, SIGCHI has seen a gradual infusion of design theory and praxis. Next spring, the progression will accelerate when CHI '07 features quality design offerings throughout the conference program.
Attendees will experience instruction and inspiration at the intersection of academic research and commercial practice. In every corner of the proceedings, design will be highlighted as an agent of innovation, usability, and emotion.
The infusion of design at CHI '07 builds on many years of activity. In 1990, Wulff and Mahling  presented a survey of CHI papers from 1982 through 1989. Their data showed that most contributions were essentially scientific or methodological in nature. The authors were disappointed by the imbalance of design content and called for more work in that area (echoing a similar call in the CHI '83 proceedings).
In January 2006 Jonathan Grudin observed that "slowly, and not without reluctance, CHI has loosened its ties to psychological theory and engineering, and schooled itself in design" . He identified several inflection points, like DIS (Designing Interactive Systems) and DUX (Designing for User Experience), and then pointed out that the field remains "multi-disciplinary without having become particularly interdisciplinary."
The conference planning committee for CHI '06 sought to bring about change. They made a concerted effort to engage various communities affiliated with HCI. In the course of doing so, they validated the "Design Expo" successes at CHI '01-'05 by making "Design" a top-tier section in their call for participation.
In turn, the CHI '07 committee is celebrating the conference's 25th anniversary with another "big tent" gathering. In the name of interdisciplinary goodness, they have explicitly invited participation from several fields (including design).
We, the 2007 "Design Community" co-chairs, are excited about this fresh opportunity for design infusion. Previously, design offerings at the conference tended to be ancillary. Today, design's prestige at SIGCHI's premier venue is on the rise.
We are working hard to nurture interdisciplinary exchange while simultaneously featuring design as a distinctive complement. In the interest of nurturing cross-pollination, design content will commingle with every other facet of CHI. At the same time, pointed design offerings will be available in formats ranging from workshops and courses to presentations and posters.
Get involved now!
The submission date for papers and proposals has passed, but it is not too late to get involved. Volunteers are needed to review and critique entries (especially experts from core design disciplines). The conference is populated with peer-reviewed content. Therefore, your comments directly impact the quality and quantity of design content (to volunteer, visit https://precisionconference.com/~sigchi/preGetID).
Finally, we need design-oriented attendees to join us in San Jose, California, to help amplify the benefits of design thinking and action. Please join us in late April to fuel the design infusion at CHI 2007!
CHI 2007: Design Community Co-Chairs
CHI 2007: Design Community Co-Chairs
About the Authors
Jon Kolko is a professor of industrial and interaction design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Prior to this position, he worked as an interaction designer at various high-tech startups in Austin, Texas.
Bill Lucas works at MAYA Design, a consulting firm and technology lab based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bill has designed experiential systems for more than 15 years. His current area of focus includes visual/interaction design for MAYA's internal R&D initiatives.
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