Roughly a month ago I attended the CHI 2009 conference in Boston straight after handing in my dissertation. Together with co-authors Lone Koefoed Hansen and Kim Halskov, I had two papers for presentation: Performing Perception – Staging Aesthetics of Interaction and Dynamically Transparent Windows. In addition to the plethora of activities and presentation tracks, this made for a rather hectic conference experience. Having had a few weeks to let things sink in, I consider the conference to be the most interesting I have yet attended in my (admittedly brief) academic carreer.
With 14 parallel sessions, there was always something fascinating going on, and much like music festivals, this meant that I had to make tough choices and miss talks and panels that I would have liked to attend. I must give credit to the organizers for exploring a variety of different presentation and discussion forms: Workshops, courses, colloquia, keynotes, short papers, long papers, case studies, panel discussions, design community talks, invited thematic presentations, presentation of selected journal publications, alt.chi presentations, and numerous extra-curricular activities, including an inspiring visit to the MIT Media Lab. As an interesting addition there were a number of “battle-sessions” in which the presentation of particularly contestable papers were followed by panel-discussions, e.g. concerning the role of ethnography in design, or the quantification of experiential aspects of interaction.
Out of the many good contributions (there was a total of 277 accepted papers), I’ve selected six that I found particularly fascinating with regards to my own research interests, and which I hope to discuss in more length in future posts:
Bardzell: Interaction Criticism and Aesthetics
Benford, Giannachi & Koleva : From Interaction to Trajectories: Designing Coherent Journeys Through User Experiences
Gaver et al: Anatomy of a Failure: How We Knew When Our Design Went Wrong, and What We Learned From It
Snibbe & Raffle: Social Immersive Media: Pursuing Best Practices for Multi-user Interactive Camera/projector Exhibits
Herring et al: Getting Inspired! Understanding How and Why Examples are Used in Creative Design Practice
Lim, Stolterman & Tenenberg : The Anatomy of Prototypes: Prototypes as Filters, Prototypes as Manifestations of Design Ideas