Rethinking technology on the boundaries of life and work

Professor Susanne Bødkersusanne
Department of Computer Science, and Center for Participatory IT
Aarhus University (Denmark)

As part of the project workshop to be held on December 13th 2016, Professor Susanne Bødker of Aarhus University (Denmark) will deliver a keynote presentation titled “Rethinking technology on the boundaries of life and work”.

Technology is often seen as seamless, or making (life/work) boundaries go away. Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) designs for that, and for seamlessness in general. However, the space of work/life boundaries is more complex and I argue for a more nuanced understanding of technologies on these boundaries. I insist that boundaries are not fixed, neither can or should they be made away with technologically, through seamless technologies. In Ubicomp, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) literature, work and work technologies are stereotypically connected to effectiveness and hard labor, and non-work technologies to fun and enjoyment. At the same time, it is often claimed that technologies make boundaries go away because we are able to work any time, anywhere. However, new boundaries are also created by technologies in and across our lives and work. I will use empirical cases to discuss technology in relation to work-life boundaries as resources to be activated and used in design.

About the Speaker
Susanne Bødker is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University (Denmark). She is known for her theoretical and empirical work on second-wave Human-Computer Interaction, computer mediated activity, and participatory design.  She co-manages Aarhus University’s interdisciplinary center for Participatory IT research.