Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reassembling Health: exploring the role of the internet of things

Last Friday, the 4th of December Cristiano Storni led a workshop at LIFT@Home under the event 'Are you ready for the Internet of Things' where the Think tank 'The Council' launched.

Workshop description can be found here;

Workshop report can be found here (draft);

Some of the Workshop material can be found here (presentation), here (concept map), and here (inspirational booklet);

The Council website can be found here;

The LIFT event link can be found here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Problematizing Design' Panel with Cristiano Storni and Aphra Kerr

Cristiano Storni has participated to the Workshop 'Ethnography, Creativity and design' as part of the Anthropology seminar series in collaboration with Intel last November the 12th at NUI Maynooth. Cristiano Storni was part of the panel 'Problematizing design' with Lecturer Aphra Kerr. In his presentation (The politics of design inthe Health Care dispositif), Cristiano has shared some of the finds of his research on self-care practices and technology. He argued for the limit of the medical model in self and home care practices and the need to create room for more dialogical collaborations between lay persons and expert practitioners in care. Aphra Kerr has presented her research on the game industry by problematize the relationship between producers and users in the digital game domain. Intel hosted part of the seminar and provide a series of presentations regarding the Independent Living project and the related Tril centre (

Program available here

Event brochure available here

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Interaction Design Talk: Macdara Butler

Wednesday, 18 Nov 2009, at 2:30 pm, Macdara Butler from Tricycle Interactive, will give a talk titled "Designers & Programmers - Crossing the Divide in Interactive Media Development" in room CSG001.

Macdara Butler, the MD of Tricycle Interactive Ltd., has graduated from UL in 2003 with a Business degree in Economics, Finance & French. He worked in the financial sector for 2 years before returning to UL for the Interactive Media Masters. In October 2006, he set up Tricycle Interactive, together with 2 fellow graduates. Tricycle Interactive provides web applications, mobile software and interface design services.

Designers & Programmers - Crossing the Divide in Interactive Media Development

It is essential that design-oriented people increase their technical skills and knowledge in order to meet the demands of industry. Equally, programmers need to embrace the principles of User Centred Design and engage whole-heartedly with the designers to achieve successful outcomes.

When designers and programmers are able to communicate effectively, work closely together, and understand each other's domains, the team will achieve great results.

Update (19 Nov 2009): Photos from Macdara's talk

Saturday, November 14, 2009

IDC Team delivers "Get Connected" on behalf of the Irish Museums Association

On Friday, 13th of November, Gabriela Avram, Luigina Ciolfi, Eamonn Finn, Olivia Kennedy an Marc McLoughlin from IDC delivered a training day on behalf of the Irish Museums Association: "Get Connected. Your Museum and Web 2.0". Participants representing museums and other exhibition spaces and cultural institutions from all over Ireland were briefed on the benefits of using Web 2.0 tools to promote and support current activities at their institution. The workshop was hosted by The Hunt Museum

Monday, October 26, 2009

Interaction Design Talks: Nicola Quinn

Wednesday, 28 October 2009, at 2pm, the Interaction Design Centre is hosting an invited talk titled UX IA IXD - where to start? by Nicola Quinn, former member of the IDC.
The talk will take place in CSG001 and everybody is welcome!

Nicola Quinn is the Customer Experience Manager for RBS's flagship insurance brands - Churchill Insurance, Direct Line and Privilege. Her current role champions the interest of customers across the business, having a major impact on usability, and customer interaction. Previously she has worked as an Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Interaction Designer and Usability Consultant. Past clients have included Nokia, Lynx, Cornetto, Cancer Research UK, BBC, and Logitech. She has also spent time as a researcher at the Interaction Design Centre, Limerick. She recently co-authored a chapter for The Handbook of Computational Arts and Creative Informatics. She is a professional member of the Usability Professional Association, London Information Architects, and ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Graphics.

In her talk, Nicola will refer to how she got her UX/IA roles, where to begin, what to expect, types of roles, and in general to her experience of looking for and finding an interesting job in London.

(Photo: Nicola presenting the Phantom to visitors at the IDC Open Day back in June 2005)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Liam Bannon to deliver keynote at INTERACT 2009

The Director of the IDC, Prof. Liam Bannon will be one of the invited keynote speakers at INTERACT 2009, the IFIP conference on Human-Computer Interaction, to be held in Uppsala (Sweden) at the end of August. Liam will deliver the conference's closing keynote presentation on August 28th.

New IDC Website is launched

The new IDC website is finally live! After over a year of design, development and implementation, the IDC has a new showcase for current research, teaching and publication activities! Thanks to Nora, Anders, Conor, Colm, Gabriela, Paul and everyone else who has helped with the many tasks surrounding the creation of the website.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Successful NWL Seminar

The Nomadic Work/Life Project (jointly run by IDC and the Dept. of Sociology and supported by ISKS - The Institute for the Study of Knowledge in Society at UL) hosted a successful international Seminar this week on the topic of "Mobility and Nomadicity:
Methodological Challenges and Innovations". Mobility is a key feature of globalization, interrelated with emerging technologies, socialities and labour forms. Although a wealth of studies have been addressing this reality, little has been said about the methodological dimension of mobilities research. By bringing together an international group of scholars, the goal of this seminar was to identify some of the main methodological innovations and challenges in the field of mobilities research. The seminar proceedings will be published as a special journal issue. Invited speakers were: Justin Spinney (Uinversity of Surrey), Elaine Moriarty (Trinity College Dublin), Michaela Benson (Keele University), Jo Vergunst (University of Aberdeen) and Misha Myers (University College Falmouth).

IDC seminar series: Brian Coates on Deconstruction

Brian Coates has given a talk within the IDC workshop series on the notion of Deconstruction on the 5th of May. Brian has offered a wide overview of the notion by largely drawing on the work by Derrida, Lacan, Foucault and Kristeva and some of their followers. According to Derrida, Deconstruction is '…is neither a philosophy, nor a doctrine, nor a knowledge, nor a method, nor a discipline, not even a determinate concept, only what happens if it happens –'. A quotation by Barbara Johnson has further framed the notion of deconstruction within the practice of 'teasing out of warring forces of signification within (any given) the text itself'.
"The de-construction of a text does not proceed by random doubt or arbitrary subversion, but by the careful teasing out of warring forces of signification within the text itself. If anything is destroyed in a deconstructive reading, it is not the text, but the claim to unequivocal domination of one mode of signifying over another".

Instances of decostruction and of warring forces have been provided through very interesting text analysis of Derrida’s dialogues with Plato, Rousseau, Husserl and Levi-Strauss; an analysis of the binary systems in Western culture and the need to deconstruct it was also presented; poems by Yeats, Eliot and Pound evidenced the crisis of modernity; Nietszche and Barthes were quoted to point up the way in which deconstruction works. Lacan’s concept of the mirror stage, Kristeva’s chora and Foucault’s panopticon provided examples of deconstruction at work. The group worked together on a practical exercise – to deconstruct a passage from J.M. Synge’s Journey to the Western Isles and a poem by Tom Leonard, ‘Yon Night’.

A debate has followed where IDCers has tried to make connection with their experiences and interests. Mikael Fernstrom showed how the very principles of deconstruction often guide his artistic practice especially when this is driven by hijacking intended design and tinkering with possibilities (he provided the link Cristiano Storni has tried to show the warring forces related with his actual domain of investigation (Health Care) by discussing (and possibly deconstructing) the notion of Compliance. Compliance is in fact a concept developed from the point of view of the doctor and of biomedicine and it has the specific function of showing what people should do and of rendering non-compliant behavior as a form of deviation in need of an explanation and of control. His point was to show that - for instance - when designing for patient empowerment certain notion can be misleading and bring not so much to an emancipation of patient but rather to further and even more subtle forms of dependencies.
Luigina Ciolfi has found interesting connections with Philosophy of science and asked about the relationship between the work of Derrida and the critical studies of science and scientific knowledge (e.g. as in Feyerabend). Further connection where found in the work of semioticians Kristeva.

Attempt to link the notion of deconstruction with the practice of design has been sketched and we are looking forward to follow up on this matter. Just as a hint, Brian told that the notion of deconstruction has found space within certain movements in architecture such as in the work of Gehry.

Slides are available for whom might be interested. The seminar has been also recorded.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Bridging Interaction Clouds" at ECSCW 2009

**********************CALL FOR PAPERS**********************
Workshop "Bridging “Interaction Clouds”: Exploring collaborative interaction across assemblies of mobile and embedded technology"

To be held at ECSCW 2009, Vienna, Austria 7-8 September.

Portable technology, particularly in the shape of mobile phones and personal digital assistants, has become a ubiquitous force in everyday life. Advances in communication technologies have also meant that we are rapidly moving towards the convergence of mobile and stationary systems: this has allowed people to use mobile technology to engage with systems embedded in the environments they inhabit, offering a greater range of interaction possibilities and patterns that we have labeled “Interaction Clouds”. By “Interaction Clouds” we mean the complex patterns of interaction, sharing and exchange that unfold around assemblies of mobile and embedded technologies.
This workshop aims at exploring such issues in greater detail, with a specific focus on the design of a coherent social and collaborative experience for people as the transverse an “assembly” of technologies. The notion of Interaction Clouds also resonates with the emergence of the internet as a resource free of device and location constraints has brought about the concept of “cloud computing”, where technology is emerging that allows people to shift between multiple contexts (mobile/embedded), facilitated by a connection to remote computing resources (clouds). This devolving of traditional interaction paradigms brings with it new challenges to support meaningful user social and collaborative experiences, specifically how such hybrid systems can facilitate salient aspects of user experiences such as collaboration and participation.
Topics of Interest
• Studies of social and collaborative activity around interaction clouds
• Design for the support of collaboration and participation across interaction clouds
• New interaction modalities in interaction clouds that support social interaction
• Theoretical issues of how to define and study interaction clouds (merging mobility-oriented and space-oriented frameworks, new conceptual approaches, development of existing frameworks, etc.)
• Explorations of settings where interaction clouds can be meaningfully deployed: e.g. public spaces (museums, urbans areas), workplaces, domestic spaces, etc.

Dates and Deadlines
Submissions are due: June 20th, 2009
Notification of Authors: 6th July, 2009
Workshop at ECSCW 2009: September 7th - 8th, 2009

Interested participants are invited to submit position papers in PDF format with a word limit of 5000 words. Papers should be formatted according to the ECSCW template see the instructions for authors.
The .pdf files should be sent to:

Workshop outline
The Workshop will run over 1 day. The Workshop call requests the submission of short position papers. However, during the workshop, we will foster debate moving away from traditional presentations, and by facilitating discussions on shared artifacts. We will invite the participants to contribute to the workshop with either posters, or demos/prototypes, or video data documenting an experience, and these materials will be the main subject of the discussion. In the afternoon session, we will lead more focused small-group discussions and brainstorming, and practical design exercises.

Publication & dissemination
Accepted papers will be included in the Workshop Webpage. During the workshop participants will be asked to prepare posters for display during the conference. During the workshop, opportunties for future publications (such as a journal special issue) will be discussed.

Marc McLoughlin, Interaction Design Centre, University of Limerick, Ireland
Luigina Ciolfi, Interaction Design Centre, University of Limerick, Ireland
Mike Fraser, University of Bristol, UK
Eva Hornecker, University of Strathclyde, UK
John Bowers, Interaction Research Studio, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Contact Details
Workshop Webpage:
Please Contact the workshop chairs at:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Softday at INFECTIOUS in the Science Gallery

Softday (a.k.a. Mikael Fernström of IDC and Sean Taylor of LSAD) is showing their work Nobody Leaves Until the Daphnia Sing in the Science Gallery at TCD in Dublin.

The project was developed in collaboration with the National Water Toxicity Laboratory in Shannon, Co. Clare.
We built the prototype in the IDC laboratory at UL and finally installed the full works in the Science Gallery in Dublin.

The exhibit has four stations (bass, tenor, alto, soprano) each with a Petri-dish with Daphnia Magna whose movements are detected by a web-cam and converted into visuals and sound with a custom-designed PD/GEM-patch.

Saturday the 18th of April 2009, the Daphnia will sing together with a human ensemble of musicians recruited from the 3rd year students in Music, Media and Performance Technology in CSIS at UL.

The exhibition runs until the 17th of July 2009.

Also, thanks to Apple for some really great support

Sunday, March 22, 2009

IDC Showcase at Irish Museums Association Conference 2009

The 2009 Conference of the Irish Museums Association was held at the City Hotel in Derry (Northern Ireland)from the 27th of February to the 1st of March. The theme of the conference was "The Museum: a Dialogue in Shared Histories and Common Heritage". Thanks to the support of IMA Chair Dr. Marie Bourke, IDC projects on the theme of museums and public exhibitions were showcased during the Conference to a number of delegates.


Lui and Liam jointly delivered a talk "The potential of new technology to encourage visitors to interact with the history and heritage of museum collections", while Marc looked after the exhibition area where demos and archive material documenting a number of IDC projects were displayed.

Marc showcasing IDC projects

Highlights of the conference included keynote presentations by Professor Nigel Roulfe (Royal College of Art, London), Fintan O'Toole and Dr. Elaine Heumann Gurian.

Fintan O'Toole's keynote

Friday, February 20, 2009

UL CSIS joins iPhone Developer University Program

The Computer Science department, thanks to Mikael's efforts has officially joined the iPhone Developer University program. It is a free program designed for third level education institutions who are introducing development courses for iPhone or iPod touch applications. It will allow up to 200 students, provide group management, and allow publication of the applications to the AppStore. This has also been done in collaboration with the Technology Transfer Office in UL so thanks are also due to Paul D for his help.

As they say, keep watching - there is more in the pipeline but you'll have to wait and see.