Skip to main content

Creating Assemblies in Public Environments: Social Interaction, Interactive Exhibits and CSCW

Abstract

This paper examines the use of a series of three low tech interactive assemblies that have been exhibited by the authors in a range of fairs, expositions and galleries. The paper does not present novel technical developments, but rather uses the low tech assemblies to help scope out the design space for CSCW in museums and galleries and to investigate the ways in which people collaboratively encounter and explore technological exhibits in museums and galleries. The bulk of the paper focuses on the analysis of the use of one interactive installation that was exhibited at the Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) Exposition in Chicago, USA. The study uses audio–visual recordings of interaction with and around the work to consider how people, in and through their interaction with others, make sense of an assembly of traditional objects and video technologies. The analysis focuses on the organised practices of ‘assembly’ and how ‘assembling’ the relationship between different parts of the work is interactionally accomplished. The analysis is then used to develop a series of ‘design sensitivities’ to inform the development of technological assemblies to engender informal interaction and sociability in museums and galleries.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Bellotti, Victoria, Maribeth Back, W. Keith Edwards, Rebecca E Grinter, Austin Henderson, and Cristina Lopes (2002): Making Sense of Sensing Systems: Five Questions for Designers and Researchers. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer–Human Interaction (CHI’02). Minneapolis, USA. New York: ACM Press, pp. 415–422.

  2. Brown Barry Matthew Chalmers (2003) Tourism and Mobile Technology K. Kuutti (Eds) et al. ECSCW 2003: Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work Kluwer Helsinki, Finland. Dordrecht 335–355

    Google Scholar 

  3. Büscher Monika Jon O’Brien Tom Rodden Jonathan Trevor (2001) ‘He’s Behind You’: The Experience of Presence in Shared Virtual Environments E. Churchill (Eds) et al. Collaborative Virtual Environments Springer Verlag London 77–98

    Google Scholar 

  4. Ciolfi, Luigina, Liam Bannon and Mikael Fernström (2001): Envisioning and Evaluating ‘Out-of-Storage’ Solutions. Proceedings of ICHIM01, International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting, Milan (Italy), 5–7 September, pp. 595–607.

  5. Coatts Margot (2001) Jason Cleverly and the Ghost Ship. Sculpture Objects and Functional Art 2001 Catlog Expressions of Culture, Inc. Chicago 28–31

    Google Scholar 

  6. Crabtree Andy Terry Hemmings John Mariani (2003) Informing the Design of Calendar Systems for Domestic Use K. Kuutti (Eds) et al. ECSCW 2003: Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work Kluwer Helsinki, Finland. Dordrecht

    Google Scholar 

  7. Esbjörnsson Mattias Oskar J. Juhlin Mattias Östergren (2003) Motorcycling and social interaction: design for the enjoyment of brief traffic encounters. ACM Press New York 85–94

    Google Scholar 

  8. Fraser Mike Danaë Stanton Kher Hui Ng Steve Benford Claire O’Malley John Bowers Gustav Taxén Kieran Ferris Jon Hindmarsh (2003) Assembling History: Achieving Coherent Experiences with Diverse Technologies. K. Kuutti (Eds) et al. ECSCW 2003: Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work Kluwer Helsinki, Finland. Dordrecht 179–198

    Google Scholar 

  9. Gaver, William, Abigail Sellen, Christian Heath and Paul Luff (1993): One is Not Enough: Multiple Views in a Media Space. Proceedings of INTERCHI’93, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 335–341.

  10. Grinter Rebecca Paul Aoki Amy Hurst Margaret Szymanski Jim Thornton Allison Woodruff (2002) Revisiting the Visit: Understanding How Technology Can Shape the Museum Visit SeriesTitleProceedings of ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW2002), New Orleans, Louisiana, November 16–20, 2002 ACM Press New York 146–155

    Google Scholar 

  11. Heath, Christian and Dirk von Lehn (forthcoming): Interactives and Interaction. Public Understanding of Science.

  12. Heath Christian Paul Luff (2000) Technology in Action Cambridge University Press Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  13. Heath Christian Paul Luff Dirk vom Lehn Jon Hindmarsh Jason Cleverly (2002) ArticleTitleCrafting Participation: Designing Ecologies, Configuring Experience Visual Communication 1 IssueID1 9–34 Occurrence Handle10.1177/147035720200100102

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Hemmings Terry Dave Randall Liz Marr David Francis (2000) Task, Talk and Closure: Situated Learning and the Use of an ‘Interactive’ Museum Artefact S. Hester D. Francis (Eds) Local Educational Order Benjamins Amsterdam 223–244

    Google Scholar 

  15. Hindmarsh Jon Christian Heath (2000) ArticleTitleSharing the Tools of the Trade: The Interactional Constitution of Workplace Objects Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 29 IssueID5 523–562

    Google Scholar 

  16. Hindmarsh Jon Christian Heath Dirk vom Lehn Jason Cleverly (2002) Creating Assemblies: Aboard the Ghost Ship SeriesTitleProceedings of the ACM conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW’02) ACM Press New York 156–165

    Google Scholar 

  17. Hindmarsh Jon Alison Pilnick (2002) ArticleTitleThe Tacit Order of Teamwork: Collaboration and Embodied Conduct in Anaesthesia The Sociological Quarterly 43 IssueID2 139–164

    Google Scholar 

  18. Hughes John Val King Tom Rodden Hans Andersen (1994) Moving out from the Control room: Ethnography in System Design SeriesTitleProceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW’94), Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 22–26, 1994 ACM Press New York 429–439

    Google Scholar 

  19. Jancke Gavin Gina Danielle Venolia Jonathan Grudin J. J. Cadiz Anoop Gupta (2001) Linking Public Spaces: Technical and Social Issues SeriesTitleProceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2001), Seattle, Washington, 2001. ACM Press New York 530–537

    Google Scholar 

  20. Luff Paul Jon Hindmarsh Christian Heath (Eds) (2000) Workplace Studies Cambridge University Press Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  21. Omojola Olufemi E. Rehmi Post Matthew Hancher Yael Maguire Ravikanth Pappu Bernd Schoner Peter Russo Richard Fletcher Neil Gershenfeld (2000) ArticleTitleAn Installation of Interactive Furniture IBM Systems Journal 39 IssueID3/4 861–879 Occurrence Handle10.1147/sj.393.0861

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. A. Ryave Lincoln James Schenkein (1974) Notes on the Art of Walking R. Turner (Eds) Ethnomethodology: Selected Readings. Penguin Harmondsworth, Middlesex 265–274

    Google Scholar 

  23. Semper Rob (1998) Designing Hybrid Environments: Integrating Media Space into Exhibition Space. S. Thomas A. Mintz (Eds) The Virtual and The Real: Media in The Museum AAM Washington 119–128

    Google Scholar 

  24. Tollmar, Konrad, Dider Chincholle, Britt Klasson and Thomas Stephanson (1999): VideoCafé: Virtual espresso-cafés and semi-located communities. CID Report (CID-47), KTH, Stockholm.

  25. vom Lehn Dirk Christian Heath Jon Hindmarsh (2001) ArticleTitleExhibiting Interaction: Conduct and Collaboration in Museums and Galleries Symbolic Interaction 24 189–216

    Google Scholar 

  26. Weiser, Mark (1991): The Computer in the Twenty-first Century. Scientific American, September 1991, pp. 94–104.

  27. Woodruff, Allison, Paul Aoki, Rebecca Grinter, Amy Hurst, Margaret Szymanski and Jim Thornton (2002): Eavesdropping on Electronic Guidebooks: Observing Learning Resources in Shared Listening Environments. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Museums and the Web, Boston, April, pp. 21–30.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jon Hindmarsh.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hindmarsh, J., Heath, C., Vom Lehn, D. et al. Creating Assemblies in Public Environments: Social Interaction, Interactive Exhibits and CSCW. Comput Supported Coop Work 14, 1–41 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10606-004-1814-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • art
  • assemblies
  • design sensitivities
  • ethnography
  • interactive exhibits
  • museums
  • social interaction
  • video