Historical Analysis: Using the Past to Design the Future

  • Susan Wyche
  • Phoebe Sengers
  • Rebecca E. Grinter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4206)


Ubicomp developers are increasingly borrowing from other disciplines, such as anthropology and creative design, to inform their design process. In this paper, we demonstrate that the discipline of history similarly has much to offer ubicomp research. Specifically, we describe a historically-grounded approach to designing ubicomp systems and applications for the home. We present findings from a study examining aging and housework that demonstrate how our approach can be useful to sensitize ubicomp developers to the impact of cultural values on household technology, to reunderstand the home space, and to spur development of new design spaces. Our findings suggest that historically-grounded research approaches may be useful in more deeply understanding and designing for context both in and outside of the home.


Historical Analysis Smart Home Oral History Historical Text Domestic Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Wyche
    • 1
  • Phoebe Sengers
    • 2
  • Rebecca E. Grinter
    • 1
  1. 1.GVU Center, College of ComputingGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Information ScienceCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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