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PhD 50% Seminar

Last Wednesday I had my 50% PhD seminar! Sill processing the feedback from my opponent Lone Koefoed Hansen who Zoomed in from Aarhus University, but very thankful for an inspiring discussion.

A short overview of my research can be found here Careful Design: Implicit Interactions with Care, Taboo, and Humor. And an even shorter snapshot of 2.5 years in 16 seconds:
Karey Helms 50% PhD Seminar

DIS 2020 – Accepted Doctoral Consortium Proposal

Having only recently returned to work full-time in March from ten months of parental leave, and despite working from home rather than in the lab due to COVID-19, it has felt wonderful to re-engage with my research with new energy and focus. Even more rewarding was to recently find out that my Doctoral Consortium proposal was accepted to DIS 2020. Very much looking forward to discussing my work with the Chairs and other participants – even if most likely virtual! Below is my title, abstract, and a link to the pre-print.

Careful Design: Implicit Interactions with Care, Taboo, and Humor

Data-driven technologies increasingly participate in everyday experiences as implicit interactions that are
unseen and dynamically configured. My research explores the design and implications of implicit interactions by designing within social relations of care that are often considered taboo. These include caring for loved ones and technologies to manage human excretion: situations that are difficult to quantify and where an unintended consequence of implicit interactions can be devastating. To carefully challenge definitions of implicit interactions, I draw upon autobiographic and speculative design methods, as well as humor to unsettle others and implicate myself in care.

Books Read in 2019

Nonfiction

The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global. Virginia Held.
Baby-led Feeding: A Natural Way to Raise Happy, Independent Eaters. Jenna Helwig.
Hacking Life: Systematized Living and Its Discontents. Joseph M. Reagle, Jr..
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. Ed Yong.
The Whole-Brain Child. Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.
Alien Phenomenology, or What I’s Like to Be a Thing. Ian Bogost.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Teresa Pitman.
Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Jane Bennett.
Our Bodies, Ourselves 2011. Boston Womens Health Book Collective, Judy Norsigian.
Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ. Giulia Enders
The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Anna Tsing.
Counterproductive: Time Management in the Knowledge Economy. Melissa Gregg.
Designing with the Body: Somaesthetic Interaction Design. Kristina Höök.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. Shoshana Zuboff.
Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. María Puig de la Bellacasa.
Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Meredith Broussard.
The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative. Christine Gross-Loh.

Literary Nonfiction

Lab Girl. Hope Jahren.
Men Explain Things to Me. Rebecca Solnit.
Becoming. Michelle Obama.
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot. Robert Macfarlane.
And Now We Have Everything. Meaghan O’Connell.
New Family Values. Andrew Solomon.

Fiction

The Water Dancer. Ta-Nehisi Coates.
The Third Policeman. Flann O’Brien.
The Dutch House. Ann Patchett.
The Great Believers. Rebecca Makkai.
The Orphan Master’s Son. Adam Johnson.
Less. Andrew Sean Greer.
The Sympathizer. Viet Thanh Nguyen.
The Sisters. Dervla McTiernan.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Ottessa Moshfegh.
Asymmetry. Lisa Halliday.
Normal People. Sally Rooney.
Circe. Madeline Miller.
Fates and Furies. Lauren Groff.
After Birth. Elisa Albert.
The Overstory. Richard Powers.
The Island of Dr. Moreau. H. G. Wells.
The Invisible Man. H. G. Wells.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. J. K. Rowling.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. J. K. Rowling.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies. John Boyne.
Next Year in Havana. Chanel Cleeton.

GROUP 2020 and CSCW 2019 – Accepted Papers

Very excited to have two papers accepted from an ongoing project on HCI and the outdoors with Airi Lampinen and Barry Brown from Stockholm University and Pedro Ferreira from IT-University of Copenhagen! Below are the abstracts, will post camera ready versions in the coming months. The first in particular and fieldwork that informed both are a precursor to upcoming design work that will ensue in the winter when I return from parental leave.

Away and (Dis)connection: Reconsidering the Use of Digital Technologies in Light of Long-term Outdoor Activities

Karey Helms, Pedro Ferreira, Barry Brown, Airi Lampinen. 2019. Away and (Dis)connection: Reconsidering the Use of Digital Technologies in Light of Long-term Outdoor Activities. ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP 2020), Sanibel Island, Florida, USA.

We present a study of long-term outdoor activities, based on altogether 34 interviews with 19 participants. Our goal was not only to explore these enjoyable experiences, but more broadly to examine how technology use was recontextualized ‘away’ from the everyday. Outdoor activities are commonly presented as an escape from our technology-infused world. In contrast, our interviews reveal experiences that are heavily dependent on technology, both digital and not. However, digital technology — and in particular the mobile phone — is reconfigured when taken out of its ordinary, often urban and indoor, context. We first present a diversity of ‘aways’ during outdoor activities by depicting cherished freedoms and interpersonal preferences. We then describe how participants managed connection and disconnection while away and upon coming back. To conclude, we discuss how constructions of away can support more purposeful engagements with digital technology, and how pointed (dis)connection can be useful for technology design also in non-outdoor settings.

From Nomadic Work to Nomadic Leisure Practice: A Study of Long-term Bike Touring

Pedro Ferreira, Airi Lampinen, Karey Helms, Barry Brown. 2019. From Nomadic Work to Nomadic Leisure Practice: A Study of Long-term Bike Touring. ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2019), Austin, Texas, USA.

Mobility has long been a central concern in research within the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) community, particularly when it comes to work and how being on the move calls for reorganizing work practices. We expand this line of work with a focus on nomadic leisure practices. Based on interviews with eleven participants, we present a study that illuminates how digital technologies are used to shape and structure long-distance cycling. Our main analysis centers on bike touring as a nomadic leisure practice and on how it offers a radical departure from traditional modes of structuring work and life, and thus, complicates the relationship between work and leisure. We complement this with an account of managing the uncertainties of nomadicity by focusing on participants’ experiences with arranging overnighting and network hospitality. We offer this study, firstly, as one response to the call for more diversity in the empirical cases drawn upon in theorizing nomadic work and leisure practices, but more productively, as an opportunity to reflect upon the temporal and spatial logics of digital technologies and platforms and how they frame our attitudes towards the interplay between work and leisure.

DIS 2019 – Presentation and Slides

Today my paper Do you have to pee? A Design Space for Intimate and Somatic Data will be presented at DIS 2019 in San Diego by a colleague from KTH as I am currently on parental leave with my four week old daughter. Would love to be at the conference presenting and discussing this work, but am more grateful for the conference’s flexibility and Vasiliki Tsaknaki’s assistance in the presentation of this paper while I am instead home in Sweden!

Since this research includes an autobiographic approach and a reflection on my positionality as a design researcher, both of which are critical to the work, the presentation I prepared included both video and audio recording of myself intermixed among a script for Vasiliki (which is why the script includes a mix of first and third person). It was definitely a new challenge rethinking how to make a presentation that included my own voice while using my colleague’s presence for audience engagement! Below is the full written script and slides, and the full paper (which won an honorable mention award!) is available here.

DIS 2019 paper presentation