Call: Heritage Inquiries: A Designerly Approach to Human Values workshop

Call for Participation: “Heritage Inquiries: A Designerly Approach to Human Values”

August 16-17, 2010
Aarhus, Denmark

An ACM DIS 2010 workshop



This two-day workshop will bring together the interdisciplinary community of scholars and practitioners involved in the design of interactive systems and sharing a common interest in heritage matters.

The role of emerging technologies in the preservation of the things we value is increasingly at the forefront of people’s concerns. As designers of interactive systems, we are asked to better understand what people do and do not value. At the core is the question: what does it mean to be human? This understanding is central to how we design for a changing world [1]. Heritage matters represent a unique domain to explore fundamental human values, including remembering, being a community, and coming together as a society through separate understandings and attachments to artifacts, places and events. Because heritage is lived and practiced within situations that are “personal and yet social,” “private and yet public,” “of the present and yet of the past and the future” [2], such an exploration bears extraordinary opportunities for the future design of interactive systems. While fostering engaging ways for people to interact with heritage objects and matters, it opens up design inquiries that go beyond traditional museological concerns and contribute to basic research in human-centered design. 

Through design activities embedded within Aarhus and its surroundings, participants will discuss the theoretical implications of design inquiries in the heritage domain with respect to the future design of interactive systems of social and cultural significance, focusing in particular on issues of everyday engagement. The workshop will also provide a key networking opportunity.

[1] R. Harper, T. Rodden, Y. Rogers, A. Sellen (2007). Being Human: Human-Computer Interaction in the Year 2020. Cambridge, England: Microsoft Research Ltd.
[2] E. Giaccardi, L. Palen, (2008). The Social Production of Heritage Through Cross-Media Interaction: Making Place for Place-Making. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 14:3, May 2008, pp. 282-298.


Create an international network of scholars and practitioners engaged in heritage matters within the field of interaction design, elaborate a shared agenda of research themes and design considerations with particular emphasis on issues of everyday engagement in heritage matters.

Discussion of the theoretical implications of design inquiries in the heritage domain with respect to the design of interactive systems of social and cultural significance will address in particular the following questions:

  •  How can designers inquire into people’s engagement in heritage matters?
  •  How can interactive technology support or even promote the motivation and values underpinning engagement in heritage matters?
  •  What characterizes heritage experience, and how can we design for it?
  •  How can interactive technology support the social system of experiences and interpretations that makes the meaning of heritage evolve over time?
  •  What structures of conversation do we need to designerly put in place to capture and reinforce the dialectical and often impalpable relations between people and their environment?
  •  How can we design for publics that form and evolve around personal as well as societal heritage matters on the basis of common interests and affinities?

The workshop will also produce several publications, including an edited book.


The workshop welcomes scholars and practitioners interested in discussing novel design inquiries from both design research and heritage studies. We welcome scholars and practitioners covering a wide range of areas of expertise, including:

  •  interaction design
  •  human-computer interaction
  •  information technology
  •  anthropology
  •  sociology
  •  archaeology
  •  architecture
  •  historical studies
  •  human geography
  •  museum and heritage studies
  •  cultural studies
  •  media and communication
  •  new media arts


Submission deadline: May 31, 2010
Notification to participants: June 28, 2010

Workshop participants will be selected on the basis of a submitted 2 to 4 page position paper. The position paper must outline the submitters view on the workshop theme and the reasons for interest in the topic including the following information:

  • A theoretical account or investigation in the convergence of heritage matters and interaction design;
  • A description of a method or project related to designing for heritage experience and interpretation.

Email submissions to: with the subject heading “DIS 2010 Workshop Submission”

All submissions must follow the ACM CHI formatting guidelines for extended abstracts which is available at:


  • Elisa Giaccardi, Departamento de Informática + Instituto de Cultura y Tecnología, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Ole Sejer Iversen, Department of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus

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