• Date: A CUSO Seminar in University of Fribourg, 13-14 June 2016
  • Location: Boulevard de Pérolles 90, Fribourg, Room B130


In the era of ubiquitous computing, reaching a sustainable integration of technology into the built environment has emerged as a major challenge for both technology designers as well as building and urban architects. There has been a remarkable body of design-oriented research practices that fall at the crossroads of human-computer interaction and place-making, namely the projects related to the notions of "Smart Home" or "Responsive Place". Furthermore, on a more conceptual level, underpinning theories of modern HCI such as embodied interaction and activity theory have been revised to include or show compatibility with the architectural concepts such as "spatial configuration". The newly created Human-IST research center at the University of Fribourg carries out research in this area, and has a multi-disciplinary focus as one of its mandates. This seminar, which aims to bring together some of the main figures of this multidisciplinary domain, whose expertise and experiences cover both the practical and theoretical angles, falls directly into this newly evolving area of research in Switzerland.


  • Professor Liam Bannon: Liam Bannon is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems & Senior Researcher with Lero- The Irish Software Institute, at the University of Limerick, Ireland. From 2010-2015 he was also Honorary Professor in Human-Computer Interaction at Aarhus University, Denmark. In recent years, he has also held Visiting Professor positions in several Universities in France, Spain and Italy. He has been involved in international networking projects in the fields of HCI and CSCW in India, China and Brazil. His research interests range over the gamut of human-technology relations, including cognitive ergonomics, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work,computer-supported collaborative learning, new media, interaction design, and social dimensions of new technologies. He has been involved for many years in the elaboration of a more human-centred approach to the design of complex ICT systems (Bannon, 2011). Liam studied psychology and computer science in Dublin, then cognitive psychology and computing in Canada, and worked in Human Factors with Honeywell (Minneapolis), then at UCSD (San Diego) with Don Norman, as a postdoctoral fellow in the mid –eighties. He has a long association with Scandinavian researchers in HCI, CSCW and information systems from his time there in various Universities in the late-eighties and early nineties. He was the Founding Director of the Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick, Ireland, from 1995-2010. He was a founding editor of CSCW The Journal of Collaborative Computing and isserving, or has served, on the editorial boards of several other international journals in HCI, CSCW, CSCL, & Design. He has served on numerous International Programme Committees for Conferences in these areas, and also served as a member of the International Panel of Reviewers for many scientific research projects and organizations worldwide. Liam was recognized as a Pioneer in the HCI field by IFIP in 2010. In 2011, Liam was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), in Stockholm, Sweden for his contributions to the HCI field. Liam is a Fellow of the Irish Ergonomics Society, was first Chair of the ACM SigCHI Irish Chapter, and is Irish representative on IFIP TC13 (Human-Computer Interaction). In 2013 he was jointly awarded (with Kjeld Schmidt) the EUSSET-IISI Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to HCI & CSCW.

  • Professor Mikael Wiberg: Mikael Wiberg is a professor of informatics at Umeå university, Sweden. He has held positions as chaired professor in Human-Computer Interaction at Uppsala University, Sweden and he has also served as Research Director for Umeå Institute of Design. His research interests are in the area of interaction design and in particular he has in his most recent work focused on aspects of the materiality of interaction and method development for concept-driven interaction design research.

  • Professor Thomas Pederson: Thomas Pederson is associate professor at IT University of Copenhagen and acting manager of the Pervasive Interaction Technology Lab there (http//pitlab.itu.dk). His fields of interest include Human-Computer Interaction, Wearable Computers, and Context-Aware Systems. He believes that human perception, cognition, and action capabilities are defining factors for future wearable systems that talk to us in increasingly subtle ways through our peripheral attention.

Additional content

Spaces, People & Technologies – Putting it all together? Understanding the Human Use and Experience of Space

The increasing interest in “smart” homes and “smart cities” in recent technological discourse paints a picture of human and social life that is enmeshed and cosseted by a technological infrastructure that supports and enhances our lives. The earlier visions of ambient intelligence which were promoted over a decade ago seem to have become re-energized in much of the recent discussions around the internet of things and ambient assisted living in the fields of HCI, CSCW and Interaction Design.However, It still seems that our understanding of the human experience of, and use of space, which has been garnered over the years through a variety of studies in such different areas as psychology, sociology, anthropology, environmental psychology, ergonomics, humanistic geography, architecture and urban planning, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, interaction design etc. has not been taken on board in many of these discussions about how to create habitable spaces.

The human actor often becomes decomposed into a passive object that is monitored and probed by sensors and systems rather than controlling their environment. I will argue for a more ‘human-centred design’ approach. In my presentation, I will provide an introduction to some of the material from across these interdisciplinary fields which I have found illuminating, and which I believe can help to re-formulate some of the current debates around the direction we might take in conceptualizing and developing augmented spaces – spaces that are not primarily shaped by the technologies, but by the human experience and use of space. I will also note how recent interest in this background understanding will hopefully inform more nuanced and engaging design explorations in the field of space, people and technologies – touching on issues such as - the practice turn, ecologies of artefacts, appropriation and tinkering/bricolage, design anthropology, etc.

The Temporality, Spatiality & Materiality of Interaction Implications for Designing Interaction

In this talk I will go through a number of research projects that I have conducted over the last few years. A common theme for these projects has been interaction design explorations at the intersection of architecture and interaction. In this seminar I will talk about one project that we had together with the icehotel and Philips on interactive architecture and I will also talk about an ongoing project on interactive light design at the scale of architecture. In my talk I will use these two projects as an empirical point of departure for a more theoretical discussion on interactive architecture as an emerging area of interaction design practice and research. I will also introduce the notion of the "temporality, spatiality and materiality of interaction" as a framework for thinking about, and designing for, the intersection of interaction and architectural design.

Future wearable systems that change the way we perceive, think, and act

I will provide my vision of potential future wearable systems that influence human everyday behaviour in consciously perceivable and imperceivable ways. Grounded in current understanding of human perception and cognition, I will discuss how current mobile and wearable devices affect human behaviour (for better and worse) followed by how emerging technologies (e.g. wearable projection displays, gaze trackers) could lead to systems that bypasses our attention and communicates with unconscious cognitive processes directly. The benefit would be a calmer yet fuller experience of the surrounding space with possibilities for achieving our goals more easily. The danger lies in the potential malicious use of this unconscious interaction channel to make people do things they actually don’t want to.

Course material


All the students, researchers and professors registered at CUSO universities (i.e. EPFL, Universities of Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Bern and Neuchâtel) are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to students ; PostDocs and senior researchers will be selected according to their scientific activity and closeness to the topic of the seminar. For members of the CUSO, we will reimburse travel costs for half-price second class SBB tickets; lunch will be provided by the organises. You will receive reimbursement instructions during the school.

Registration deadline June 1st

Please register directly through CUSO.

Preliminary program

9:00-1015 10:15-10:45 10:45-12:00 12:00-13:30 13:30-14:45 14:45-15:15 15:15-16:30
Monday 13th Liam Bannon Coffee Liam Bannon Lunch Mikael Wiberg Coffee Mikael Wiberg
Tuesday 14th Thomas Pederson Coffee Thomas Pederson - - - -


  • Dr. Hamed Alavi, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

  • Prof. Denis Lalanne, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

This workshop is part of the 3eme cycle romand in Informatics For more information, please refer to the conference website at https//informatique.cuso.ch/