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What we talk about when we talk about context

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Alan Blackwell.

This meeting of the group will discuss:

Paul Dourish (2004) “What we talk about when we talk about context” Journal of Personal & Ubiquitous Computing 8(1), 19-30

There is a copy online at: http://www.dourish.com/publications/2004/PUC2004-context.pdf

The emergence of ubiquitous computing as a new design paradigm poses significant challenges for HCI and interaction design. Traditionally, human-computer interaction has taken place within a constrained and well-understood domain of experience single users sitting at desks and interacting with conventionally-designed computers employing screens, keyboards and mice for interaction. New opportunities have engendered considerable interest in context-aware computing computational systems that can sense and respond to aspects of the settings in which they are used. However, considerable confusion surrounds the notion of context what it means, what it includes, and what role it plays in interactive systems. This paper suggests that the representational stance implied by conventional interpretations of context misinterprets the role of context in everyday human activity, and proposes an alternative model that suggests different directions for design.

Everyone attending is expected to read the paper in advance. Please bring a copy with you, preferably annotated with interesting reflections. The format of discussion will be a brief invited introduction/critique by two members of the group, followed by general discussion and informal mixing.

This talk is part of the Crucible/Microsoft HCI Reading Group series.

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