XVIII.4 July + August 2011
Page: 5
Digital Citation

WELCOME The view from within

Ron Wakkary, Erik Stolterman

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If you're like us, you are both recovering and feeling recharged from CHI 2011! And also, like us, you're in the midst of digesting and sifting through all of the talks, discussions, and encounters you experienced in and around the Vancouver Convention Center over those six days in May.

Like many cities, Vancouver changes over time, constantly reimagining itself, and in the process, those of us who live there (at least one editor-in-chief!). The convention center's west building, where the conference was held, opened in 2009. As a building it is barely noticeable from afar—unlike its counterpart, the older east building. Built 25 years earlier, in 1986, it rises up along the waterfront as a series of large sails, announcing itself to the external world. Instead, the newer west building strikes you from within. From inside the building you can see stretches of the six acres of undulating green roof outside: a living, self-sustaining ecosystem made up of more than 40,000 plant species and even multiple colonies of 60,000 bees! You can also look down through the floor-to-ceiling glass to see the surface of the water of the Vancouver Harbor and imagine the feeling of leaning out over the bow of one of the many boats and ships crisscrossing the harbor. The immense sheets of glass that separate you from the outside create a changing atmosphere within driven by the changing weather without (yes—rain!). The view from within is centered on your human experience of place and people—it is a reimagination of the experience of Vancouver.

In our cover story, Liam Bannon asks how HCI can further reimagine itself by focusing on the human-technology relationship that is as broad and complex as the social and physical world that surrounds us. Bannon asks us to consider that the view from within HCI of the 21st century needs to be an "exploration of new forms of living with and through technologies" centered on our humanness, social values, and activities. Bannon maps the reimaginations of HCI's past and challenges us to reimagine HCI's future.

We hope that interactions can play its small part in this enterprise. In this issue we introduce a new forum on the longstanding topic of evaluation and usability, aptly named Evaluation and Usability and led by forum editors David Siegel and Susan Dray. We also invited Florian "Floyd" Mueller and Vassilis Kostakos, demo chairs of ACM's Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI) in 2011, to be guest editors for this issue's Demo Hour section.

We'd like to thank all of those who came to the ACM interactions SIG at CHI. We were thrilled by the feedback and discussion. We again extend invitations to all of our readers to submit articles to help us reimagine the view from within HCI and interaction design.

—Ron Wakkary and Erik Stolterman
[email protected]

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©2011 ACM  1072-5220/11/0700  $10.00

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