Artful systems in the home

Ales S. Taylor*, Laurel Swan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper we introduce the idea of organizing systems. Through a number of examples from an ongoing ethnographic study of family life, we suggest that organizing systems come about through the artful design and use of informational artifacts in the home, such as calendars, paper notes, to-do lists, etc. These systems are not only seen to organize household routines and schedules, but also, crucially, to shape the social relations between family members. Drawing attention to the material properties of informational artifacts and how assemblies of these artifacts come to make up organizing systems, we discuss some general implications for designing information technology for the home. Most importantly, we suggest that technologies must be designed to accommodate the rich and diverse ways in which people organize their homes, providing them with the resources to artfully construct their own systems rather than enforcing ones that are removed from their own experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '05: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1581139985, 9781581139983
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2005
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2005 - Portland, United States
Duration: 2 Apr 20057 Apr 2005


ConferenceConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2005
Abbreviated titleCHI'05
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Domestic life
  • Ethnography
  • Home life
  • Information devices
  • Mothers' work
  • Ubiquitous computing


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