Creating a Sense of Unity: From Quantified Self to Qualitative Space

  • Fatemeh MoradiEmail author
  • Mikael Wiberg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9737)


The design and usage of Personal Informatics (PI) systems have been subjects of rapidly growing interest in recent years. PI systems are typically designed to monitor individuals’ physical activity and encourage them to be more active, thereby ‘hacking’ the habit of prolonged sitting. Most PI systems focus solely on collecting quantitative data to encourage self-reflection and are therefore sometimes discussed in terms of the Quantified Self movement. However, this perspective is wholly focused on individual bodily movements and neglects the role of architectural spaces. This paper discusses an ongoing project focused on PI systems design at the intersection of bodily movements and the office as an architectural space. Taking this as a point of departure, we introduce a simple prototype interactive lamp known as the NEAT lamp, which was designed, implemented and evaluated in relation to everyday office work. The rationale underpinning the prototype’s design is presented, followed by the results of a real-world evaluation of its effects in practice. We also discuss the role of the NEAT lamp as an ambient light that promotes awareness of sedentary behavior in the office as an open architectural space. Finally, we highlight the role of ambient displays as a medium for creating a sense of unity between the self and the architectural space, and propose that this observation suggests that we should move the discussion away from “quantified selves” towards qualitative spaces.


Personal informatics Design Notification systems Ambient light Architectural space 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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