Readings' list

Philip Agre, Changing Places: Contexts of Awareness in Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, 16(2-4), 2001, 177-192.

Context is not only related to physical entities, and there is something more than actions.

Institution add another level to the place.

Conceptual framework to analyze the situation:

Institution were traditionally tight to architecture, but with mobile devices and wireless it is less so.

What consequences does the loosened mapping between activity and place hold for the design od contec=xt-aware digital devices?

Context is not only place, but must be reckoned in both architectural and institutional terms.
Some application have a context that depends by a very strong coupling between architecture and institutions, other applications are at the extreme, where they depend only on the architectural context or the institutional context. Between the extremes there is a large space of possibilities. Mobile and wireless breaks down the mapping between institutions and places and  more application will fall in this middle ground of loosely coupled activities.

Design Methodology

Designing the activities in such a way that the computer can recognize the relevant aspects of it.

Five stages:

  1. Analysis: study the form of activity and reduces it to a repertoire of atomic elements.
  2. Articulation: the analyst devises a grammar that can generate all of the permitted sequences of actions.
  3. Imposition: the grammar is introduced into the everyday life of the institution and given a normative force.
  4. Instrumentation: social and technical mechanism are installed that parse the activity.
  5. Elaboration: as the activity records accumulate, they can be used in a variety of ways.

Imposing using collaboration is not easy, but without it it will not be possible to capture the institutional context that is more and more loosely coupled to the place or built context.