Call: Open research on the theme of “the historical evolution of the uses of computation, 1950-2015”

Call for open research on the theme of “the historical evolution of the uses of computation, 1950-2015” in light of the IDF editorial initiative regarding Situated Computing.

We invite all interested parties as well as the members of the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) to contribute in building a body of shared knowledge focusing on how uses and users co-evolved over time together with the tools that enabled computational services and technology-mediated interaction in organizational and social settings. We invite you to contribute by sharing references to high quality research contributions, by both historians of science/technology who have focused on the human and social dimensions of technology evolution (e.g., Michael Mahoney, Paul Ceruzzi, Janet Abbate), and by computer scientists with a strong interest in the history of computational technology (e.g., Anker Helms Jørgensen, Brad A. Myers, Thomas Haigh, Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray and many others). Above all, we invite you to share the documental sources of these historical investigations, like seminal papers, operating manuals, commercial leaflets, visionary, video and graphical advertisements, documentaries: All types of materials that can shed  light on how technology use and user expectations have changed together  with – and on the basis of – new enabling technologies and novel  interaction modes.

If you feel you have pertinent resources, materials or even just comments, suggestions and ideas to bring forward to this ambitious project, please send them either by regular mail to the attention of Federico Cabitza, Dipartimento di Informatica, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Viale Sarca 336, 2012 Milano, or by writing an email

All contributions will be shared openly and freely through the IDF community website and also considered to be included in our historical reconstruction of how computing has evolved since World War II to present day – toward a more situated dimension in human existence. This is the central theme of the work in progress by De Michelis, Cabitza and Simone entitled “Situated Computing: A Turning Point for ICT” which will be published in 2014 by the Interaction Design Foundation.

The contributions which we will receive after this call will be shared openly and freely through the IDF community; moreover, they will be taken into account in the historical summary we will write in “Situated Computing: A Turning Point for ICT”.

Best regards,

Mads Soegaard Editor-in-Chief, The Interaction Design Foundation



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