Reading List for Forum

A number of books have appeared in the last few years which have opened up the field; exploring new theories, ideas and directions, and provoking us to consider how we design for a diversity of human experiences and values beyond the cognitive and the social. A few seminal ones that come to mind are:

  • Malcolm McCullough's "Digital Ground" (2004) and Adam Greenfield's "Everyware" (2006) consider the place of technology in another sense-these books ask what it means for computers to be truly ubiquitous and pervasive, embedded in the objects around us and in the environments we inhabit. McCullough examines this from the point of view of an architect, and Greenfield from the point of view of interaction design.
  • For an economic argument on the impact of new technologies on society, see Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail" (2006) which describes how the internet is turning old-fashioned supply and demand economics into one where unlimited supply and choice is creating a new economy of niche markets.
  • Andy Clark is a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Edinburgh University who writes about the relationship between humans and machines. As technologies and gizmos proliferate, he argues that, rather than view them as increasingly overloading, overburdening and frustrating humans, we embrace them, seeing them quite literally as an extension of our bodies and minds. The title of his last book "Natural Born Cyborgs" explored this theme and is recommended reading. Andy has also provided us with his latest paper that extends these ideas further, arguing for profound embodiment and human augmentation, covering robot arms, sensory enhancement and bodily extension. Andy has a knack of describing the interface between humans and machines in captivating ways that go far beyond the prosaic discourse of HCI , e.g., "Sensing and moving are the spots where the rubber of embodied agency meets the road of the wider world, the world outside the agent's physical boundaries."

Papers you might want to read include:

Also see:

General books about HCI :


'Computer technologies are not neutral – they are laden with human, cultural and social values.  We need to define a new agenda for human-computer interaction in the 21st century – one that anticipates and shapes the impact of technology rather than simply reacts to it.'


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