Ron Wakkary, Erik Stolterman
A young discipline like HCI seems to constantly engage in self-reflection. Who are we? What distinguishes us from other disciplines? What is the core of the field? Our field has kept its name, Human-Computer Interaction, for quite some time despite all the changes it has gone through—new technology, new uses, new ideas and theories, new practices. Is it time to rethink what HCI stands for? In the cover story, Umer Farooq and Jonathan Grudin make the case for Human-Computer Integration. We are, according to the authors, not living with technology that merely responds to our requests; rather, technology has become more active and more proactive. Technology is becoming our “partner.” We are in a symbiotic relationship, and this integration leads to new challenges for our field. The authors discuss the changing role of technology along what they call the interaction-to-integration continuum, ending with a look at the future of the “era of man-computer symbiosis.”
Is it time to rethink what HCI stands for?
In this issue we also have a Special Topic section on Sustainable HCI Education, edited by Bonnie Nardi, Bill Tomlison, and Donald Patterson. The editors introduce the section by stating that the academic community is moving away from the dominant individualistic view of sustainability and toward “societal and systemic forms of sustainability, with an awareness of the need for both the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, global limits, and the idea that the growth characteristic to industrial civilization for several centuries may not be infinite.” The section features three papers that present new ways to think about the relationship between sustainable HCI and education.
We know that you have ideas and opinions that should be shared. Why not write a piece for our Confessions column, where you are free to argue, debate, provoke, and challenge the field. See the submission guidelines at http://interactions.acm.org/submissions.
And remember that most of the articles published in the magazine are available online at http://interactions.acm.org/. The website also features blog posts from leading voices in human-computer interaction…and integration. Take a look!
Ron Wakkary and Erik Stolterman
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