Call: Theory and Practice of Embodied Interaction in HCI and Interaction Design (special issue of ACM TOCHI)


A Special Issue of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM TOCHI)

Special issue editors: Paul Marshall (University of Warwick), Alissa N. Antle (Simon Fraser University), Elise van den Hoven (Eindhoven University of Technology), Yvonne Rogers (The Open University)

For questions, please contact


Deadline for Proposals: July 8, 2011 (submit via
Response to Authors: August 12, 2011
Papers Due: October 28, 2011 (submit via Manuscript Central)
Reviews Due: December 9, 2011 Author Notification: December 30, 2011
Revised Papers Due: February 24, 2011
Special Issue Published: Third or Fourth Quarter 2012


It is ten years since the publication of Where the Action Is, where Paul Dourish proposed embodiment as a theoretical foundation for HCI, grounded in the philosophical movement of phenomenology. Building on critiques of the information processing models that had previously held sway in HCI by Winograd and Flores, Suchman and others, Dourish presented a vision of interaction with technology that emphasized practical engagement over abstract reasoning and situated meaning-making over generalization.

Over the last decade, the notion of embodiment has been taken up and developed enthusiastically in HCI and interaction design, resulting in a sometimes bewildering array of approaches and concepts. This work ranges from a focus on the emotional quality of interaction with technology to the technical issues of supporting whole body interaction; from analyses of publicly available actions in physically shared spaces to the ways that technology can mediate awareness of our own movements. Other researchers, rather than rejecting cognitive models outright are looking at how to apply a new generation of embodied cognition theories in interaction design. These are more grounded in the ways that people experience the world through physical interaction, but still emphasize abstraction from particular contexts. Despite this surge of interest, questions remain as to exactly what constitutes an embodied approach to HCI; how and why these new approaches can rightly be considered part of a coherent program of research; to what extent they differ from prior theoretical positions like situated action; and what theoretical work the concept of embodiment is doing in the design, analysis and evaluation of interactions with and around technology?

It is timely to reflect upon these and other questions. We invite high quality, original contributions on the theory and practice of embodied interaction in HCI and interaction design. We welcome work from, among others, psychological, philosophical, sociological, engineering, design and HCI perspectives.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Critiques of theories of embodied interaction
  • New perspectives on embodiment
  • Case studies where an embodied perspective has been applied
  • Taxonomies of perspectives on embodied interaction
  • New approaches to design
  • In depth studies of systems employing embodied interaction
  • Description of the design of systems from the perspective of embodied interaction
  • Analysis or evaluations through the lens of embodiment
  • Reflections on the unity of the research program on embodied interaction
  • Frameworks on embodiment in HCI
  • Analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of different perspectives
  • Comparisons of embodied interaction with other theoretical perspectives, such as situated action.

All contributions will be rigorously peer reviewed to the usual standards of ToCHI. Further information, including ToCHI submission procedures and advice on formatting and preparing your manuscript, can be found at:

Proposals are optional, but will enable initial feedback to be provided to authors before submitting the completed paper, as well helping to match papers to reviewers. They should be at least 1000 words and provide a clear indication of the theme of the paper. Proposals should be emailed directly to the special issue editors.

Completed paper manuscripts will be submitted via the ACM online manuscript system at:

To discuss a possible contribution, please contact the special issue editors at


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