Farmers, Tech, & Data

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash
Current Team: Rosemary Steup, Lynn Dombrowski, Paige White

We are conducting fieldwork examining the interplay of technology and data practices with farmers in the rural Midwest. Designers who reside in urban areas naturally design for urban dwellers. In this work, we seek to examine the innovative practices of rural inhabitants who grow crops and do animal husbandry. We consider farmers are key players of social movements, albeit a more amorphous one. Currently, we are establishing how new technological trends are affecting farmers, studying the commercial boom in data-driven farming and “farmer developers” who contribute to FarmOS.

Pubs: CSCW’18, DIS’19, Interactions’22

Technology and Organizations

Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash
Current Team: Amanda Lazar, Lilly Irani, David Crandall

We have done a number of studies in the workplace. This work includes fieldwork on nomadic workers, knowledge management practitioners, and information workers. We are currently doing studies on the affects of external critique on tech workers and the emotional impact of recent developments in computer vision.

CSCW’21, CVPR’21

Nomadic Workers
DIS’08, PMC’10

Knowledge Management & Communities of Practice

Temporal Communication Patterns in the Workplace
C&T’07, CHI’08, IUI’10, HCI’2013 (Journal)

The Culture of Robotics

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash
Current Team: EunJeong Cheon, Stephen Sher, Selma Šabanović

We have been conducting a series of studies on stakeholders in robotics—roboticists, users, companies, etc. We are particularly interested how the discourse of roboticists shapes designs of robots for users. To this end, we have developed Futuristic Autobiographies (FABS), an empirical method for eliciting values via design fictions.

Pubs: NordiCHI’14, Alt.HRI’16, CSCW’17, HRI’18, TOCHI’19, DIS’19

Design Periods of Websites

Current Team: Bardia Doosti, David Crandall, Sam Goree

Web design have evolved greatly over its nearly 25 year history, but there is no theory to explain this change. Historians and critics have developed rich theories including “periods” or “movements” (e.g., classical, impressionist) that describe time intervals when artists and their works have shared a particular aesthetic style or philosophy. Inspired by this notion of periods, we are developing theories and computational methods (e.g., computer vision with CNNs) to gain insight on the “design periods” of websites. We are also identifying and investigating the homogenization of web design.

Pubs: CHI’17, WebSci’17, CHI’21, ToCHI’22

Graphic Photos on Social Media

Photo by Majdah Alshehri
Current Team: Majdah Alshehri

This project explores the motivations behind graphic photos shared on social media of a religious ritual involving self-harm practices. Through observations and interviews, we uncover the values tied with, in content creators’ own words, the “ugly” photos they post. We envision these photographic and social media practices can help inform new design opportunities for systems in divisive contexts.

Pubs: ECSCW’18

The Menopause Subreddit

Current Team: Amanda Lazar, Shaowen Bardzell, Jeffrey Bardzell

Informed by feminist social science methodologies, this project examines women’s lived experiences with menopause, as conveyed in a subreddit. We bring to the forefront how gendered marginalization of menopause leads to alienation. Designs need to represent the rich experiential aspects of menopause (physical, mental, and social) and their spaces (e.g., work vs home). We also reflexively examine ways to productively generate design frames for the experiences of menopause which contribute to the intersection of women’s health and design.

Pubs: CHI’19, CHI’19


Photo by EunJeong Cheon
Current Team: EunJeong Cheon

Minimalism is a lifestyle movement whose members conscientiously practice a continual re-evaluation of their material goods, social relations, environments, and overall impact on sustainability. We seek to draw out design opportunities based on their practices and values. Thus far, we have insights on how design should support marginal, physical spaces (e.g., “empty” spaces) and regulating the “porous” boundaries of the home.

Pubs: CHI’18, CSCW’18, CSCW’21

Outdoor Recreation

Photo by Nic Jackson
Current Team: Kaitlyn Timm

We are conducting an ethnography on the practices and values of outdoor recreationalists, both from urban and rural areas. In this work, we seek to make transparent tensions in the subcultures of nature (e.g,. between rural and city hunters) between technologies, stakeholders, and institutions. Ultimately, this work seeks to create technologies to both bridge sometimes divisive practices without sacrificing the traditions and values of these subcultures. We are currently doing a study on increasing trust between the DNR and hunters in the Midwest through data transparency.

Pubs: CHI’17

Video Game Culture

Photo by Sam Howzit on / CC BY
Current Team: Lucas Kempe-Cooke, Stephen Sher

The subculture of gaming, thanks to esports, is now big business and arguably part of mainstream culture. We are interested in the “growing pains” of video game culture. Intersecting this are concerns with gendered behavior in gaming culture, the ecology of stakeholders of esports (e.g., video game commentators).

Pubs: CSCW’10, BCS’11, ICWSM’17, CHI’19, CSCW’19

Irish Traditional Musicians

Current Team: Bryan Duggan

We did a three year ethnography of traditional musicians in Ireland. Irish trad musicians play together in “sessions”—typically, in a public place (e.g., pub). My work found that the digital representation of music is contentious, both supporting and at odds with the aural tradition of folk music. We developed a system called TuneTracker that automatically and continuously keeps track of tunes played in an Irish session and puts that information on a website. This system further revealed tensions regarding data curation and dissemination between amateurs and professionals.

Pubs: ECSCW’13, DIS’14, CHI’15, DIS’16

Past Projects

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

C&T’05, SID’05

Ubiquitous Computing Systems
MobiCom’02, PerCom’04