Contextual Interaction Design Research: Enabling HCI
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has always been about humans, their needs and desires. Contemporary HCI thinking investigates interactions in everyday life and puts an emphasis on the emotional and experiential qualities of interactions. At the Center for Human-Computer Interaction we seek to bridge meandering strands in the field by following a guiding metaphor that shifts focus to what has always been the core quality of our research field: Enabling HCI, as a leitmotif, draws our attention to how each research activity may benefit desires, goals and objectives. Enabling expresses how human-computer interactions are always situated within someone’s life, values, and needs; it emphasizes the power of thoughtful design to enable desired interactions and explore desirable futures and expresses how our research addresses the very essence of contextual qualities. This is facilitated through context-rich lab spaces that foster a maker culture for exploring novel forms of contextual interaction. Being an interdisciplinary research group that is rooted in the rich epistemological tradition of the field allows us to bridge boundaries between contemporary thinking and formerly prevalent domains, between established methodology and current research questions. In this paper we highlight how our organizational structure fosters this viewpoint on human-computer interactions.