Advertisement

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 533–544 | Cite as

Rethinking technology on the boundaries of life and work

  • Susanne Bødker
Original Article

Abstract

Technology is often seen as seamless, or making (life/work) boundaries go away. Ubicomp designs for that and for seamlessness in general. However, there may be better ways of understanding boundaries, as to design technologies in the space of changing work/life boundaries, which is the topic of this special issue. This paper makes a theoretical argument to insist that boundaries are not fixed, neither can or should they be made away with technologically, through seamless technologies. Based on this argument, it discusses various presumed technology-mediated boundaries of work and home, life, etc., as they can be found in the Ubicomp, CSCW and HCI literature: The ways in which work and work technologies are stereotypically connected to effectiveness and hard labor, and non-work technologies to fun and enjoyment; the ways in which technologies move back and forth between mediating work activity and non-work; the role of place and time boundaries in relation to the ability to work any time, anywhere and the metaphors used to address these boundaries; and the perceived boundaries of private versus public, and the new boundaries created by technologies in and across our lives and work. Using an empirical case, the paper offers an alternative use of boundaries as resources to be activated and used in design. It suggests that we need to more carefully design technologies that provide seamfulness on these specific and dynamic boundaries.

Keywords

Technology-mediated boundaries Seamfulness Work–life boundaries 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I thank my many collaborators of past and more recent papers and case studies. I thank the editors/workshop organizers for making it possible for me to revitalize some of my old ideas, and the reviewers for their careful comments. The work is sponsored by the Aarhus University interdisciplinary center PIT.

References

  1. 1.
    Barth F (1969) Ethnic groups and boundaries. Little Brown, BostonGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bellotti V, Cambridge S, Hoy K, Shih PC, Handalian LR, Han K, Carroll JM (2014) Towards community-centered support for peer-to-peer service exchange: rethinking the timebanking metaphor. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (CHI ‘14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp 2975–2984Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bertelsen O, Bødker S (2002) Interaction through multi-artifacts. In: Bagnara S, Pozzi S, Rizzo A, Wright P (eds) ECCE 11: cognition, culture and design 11th European conference on cognitive ergonomics, Instituto di scienze e technologie della cognizione consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, Rome, pp 103–111Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bertelsen OW, Bødker S (1999) Cooperation in massively distributed information spaces. In: Bødker S, Kyng M, Schmidt K (eds) Proceedings of the 6th European conference on computer supported cooperative work. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Copenhagen, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Birnholtz J, Hancock J, Smith M, Reynolds L (2012) Understanding unavailability in a world of constant connection. Interactions 19(5):32–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bjerrum E, Bødker S (2003) Knowledge sharing in the”new office”—possibility or problem? In: Kuutti K, Karsten E, Fitzpatrick G, Dourish P, Schmidt K (eds) Proceedings of the 8th European conference on computer supported cooperative work, 14–18 Sept 2003, Helsinki, Finland, pp 199–218Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bjerrum E, Nielsen O (2003) Bliver man lidt småsær af at have sit eget kontor? Jyllands-Postens Erhvervsklub (In Danish: Does having your own office make you slightly mad?)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bødker S (2006) When second wave HCI meets third wave challenges. In: ACM international conference proceeding series, vol 189. Proceedings of the 4th NordiCHI, ACM, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bødker S, Christiansen, E (2004) Designing for ephemerality and prototypicality. In: Proceedings of the DIS 2004, ACM, pp 255–260Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bødker S, Christiansen E (2006) Computer support for social awareness in flexible work. J CSCW 15(1):1–28Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bødker S, Christiansen E (2012) Poetry in motion–appropriation of the world of Apps. In: Proceedings of the ECCE 2012Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bødker S, Christiansen E (2002) Lost and found in flexibility. IRIS, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bødker S, Grönvall E (2013) Calendars: time coordination and overview in families and beyond. ECSCW 2013:61–80Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bødker S, Klokmose CN (2011) The human-artifact model—an activity theoretical approach to artifact ecologies. Hum-Comput Inter 26(4):315–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bødker S, Klokmose CN (2012) Dynamics in artifact ecologies. In: Proceedings of the 7th Nordic conference on human-computer interaction: making sense through design (NordiCHI ‘12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp 448–457Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bødker S, Petersen AB (2007) Seeds of cross-media production. J Comput Support Cooper Work 16:539–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bødker S, Polli, AM (2014) Between initial familiarity and future use: A case of collocated collaborative writing. In: Proceedings of the COOP 2014, pp 137–154Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bødker S, Polli, AM, Korn M, Klokmose CN (2014) Participatory IT in semi-public spaces. In: Proceedings of the 7th Nordic conference on human-computer interaction (NordiCHI’14)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bødker S, Christiansen E, Ehn P, Markussen R, Mogensen P, Trigg R (1991) Computers in Context. Report from the AT-project in progress. In: Proceedings of the NES/SAM on Arbejdets Udvikling, pp 153–158Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bødker S, Kristensen JF, Nielsen C, Sperschneider W (2003) Technology for boundaries. In: Proceedings of GROUP’03, ACM Press, pp 311–320Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bohøj M, Borchorst NG, Bouvin NO, Bødker S, Zander PO (2010) Timeline collaboration. In: Proceedings of the of the 2010 SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, ACM Press, pp 523–532Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bødker S, Korsgaard H, Saad-Sulonen J (in press) ‘A farmer, a place and at least 20 members’: the development of artifact ecologies in volunteer-based communities. In: Proceedings of the of CSCW 2016, ACM PressGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Borchorst NG, Bødker S (2011) “You probably shouldn’t give them too much information”—supporting citizen-government collaboration. In: Proceedings of the of the 2011 European conference on computer supported cooperative work, Springer London, pp 173–192Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Borchorst NG, Bødker S, Zander PO (2009) The boundaries of participatory citizenship. In: Proceedings of the of the 2009 European conference on computer supported cooperative work, Springer London, p. 1–20Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Brown B, O’Hara K (2003) Place as a practical concern of mobile workers. Environ Plan A 35(9):1565–1587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chalmers M, Galani A (2004) Seamful interweaving: heterogeneity in the theory and design of interactive systems. In: Proceedings of the 5th conference on designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques. DIS ‘04. ACM, New York, NY, pp 243–252Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Christensen LR, Grönvall E. (2011) Challenges and opportunities for collaborative technologies for home care work. In: Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 24–28 Sept 2011, Springer, pp 61–80Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Clement A, Wagner I (1995) Fragmented exchange: disarticulation and the need for regionalized communication spaces. In: Proceedings of the of the 1995 European conference on computer-supported cooperative work, Kluwer, pp 33–49Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Dourish P (2001) Where the action is: the foundations of embodied interaction. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Engeström Y (2005) Knotworking to create collaborative intentionality capital in fluid organizational fields. Adv Interdiscip Stud Work Teams 11:307–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Engeström Y (2007) From communities of practice to mycorrhizae. In: Hughes J, Jewson N, Unwin L (eds) Communities of practice: Critical perspectives. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Greenbaum J (2010) Situations and interactions: digital café squatting and participatory design. In: Proceedings of the 11th Biennial Participatory Design Conference (PDC ‘10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp 243–246Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Grönvall E, Marti P, Pollini A, Rullo A, Bertelsen OW (2005) Palpable time for heterogeneous care communities. In: Proceedings of the 4th decennial conference on critical computing: between sense and sensibility, ACM Press, pp 149–152Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Harrison A, Wheeler P, Whitehead C (2004) The distributed workplace: sustainable work environments. Spon Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hochschild AR (1997) The time bind: when work becomes home and home becomes work. Metropolitan Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Huysman M, Wulf V (2005) The role of information technology in building and sustaining the relational base of communities. Inf Soc 21(2):81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Tio tankar om tid. Brombergs (In Swedish: Ten thoughts about time)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kristoffersen S, Ljungberg F (1998) MobiCom: networking dispersed groups. Interact Comput 10:45–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kvande E (2009) Work-life balance for fathers in globalized knowledge work. Some insights from the norwegian context. Gend Work Organ 16(1):58–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Leshed G, Håkansson M, Kaye J (2014) “Our life is the farm and farming is our life”: home-work coordination in organic farm families. In: Proceedings of the of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing (CSCW ‘14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp 487–498Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Lee C (2005) Between chaos and routine: boundary negotiating artifacts in collaboration. In: Proceedings of the of the 2005 European conference on computer supported cooperative work, Springer Netherlands, pp 387–406Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Luff P, Heath C (1998) Mobility in Collaboration. In: Poltrock S, Grudin J (eds) Proceedings of the of the 1998 ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work, ACM Press, pp 305–314Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Lynggard AB (2012) Homing Interactions, Aarhus School of Architecture, Unpublished PhD Aarhus School of ArchitectureGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Malhotra A, Van Alstyne M (2014) The dark side of the sharing economy … and how to lighten it. CACM 57(11):24–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Orr J (1996) Talking about machines: an ethnography of a modern job. Cornell University Press, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Pagter JI, Pedersen MG (2008) A sense of security in pervasive computing-is the light on when the refrigerator door is closed? LNCS. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 383–388Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Palen L, Bødker S (2007) Don’t get emotional. In: Peter C, Beale R (eds) Affect and emotion in human-computer interaction. LNCS, vol. 4868. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 12–22Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Palen L, Salzman M, Youngs E (2001) Discovery and integration of mobile communications in everyday life. Personal Ubiquitous Comput J 5(2):109–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Petersen MG, Lynggaard AB, Krogh PG, Winther IW (2010) Tactics for homing in mobile life: a fieldwalk study of extremely mobile people. In: Proceedings of the of the 12th international conference on Human computer interaction with mobile devices and services (MobileHCI ‘10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 265–274Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Polli AM, Korn M, Klokmose CN (2013) Local area artworks: collaborative art interpretation on-site. In: Proceedings of the of the 2013 ACM conference on Pervasive and ubiquitous computing adjunct publication (UbiComp ‘13 Adjunct). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 79–82Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Rossitto R, Eklundh KS (2007) Managing work at several places: a case of project work in a nomadic group of students. In: Proceedings of the of the 14th European conference on Cognitive ergonomics: invent! explore! (ECCE ‘07). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp 45-51Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Sennett R (1998) The corrosion of character. The personal consequences of work in the new capitalism. W.W. Norton and Co, New York LondonGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Sohn T, Lee L, Zhang S, Dearman D, Truong K (2012) An examination of how households share and coordinate the completion of errands. In: Proceedings of the of the ACM 2012 conference on computer supported cooperative work (CSCW ‘12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 729-738Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Star SL, Griesemer JR (1989) Institutional ecology, ‘translations’ and boundary objects: Amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907–39. Soc Stud Sci 19(3):387–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Star SL (2010) This is not a boundary object: reflections on the origin of a concept. Sci Technol Human Values 35(5):601–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Su NM, Mark G (2008) Designing for nomadic work. In: Proceedings of the of the 7th ACM conference on Designing interactive systems (DIS ‘08). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 305–314Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Whittaker S, Frohlich D, Daly-Jones O (1994) Informal workplace communication: what is it like and how might we support it? In: Proceedings of the of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems. ACM Press, pp 208Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Wiberg M, Ljungberg F (1999) Exploring the vision of anytime, anywhere in the context of mobile work. In: Malhotra Y (ed) Knowledge management and virtual organizations. Idea Group Publishing, BrandonGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Williams S, Williams L (2005) Space invaders: the negotiation of teenage boundaries through the mobile phone. Sociol Rev 53(2):314–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, and Center for Participatory ITAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations