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Untangling Interactive Systems

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The idea that design and use are clear, separate phases in the life cycle of technologies falls apart under scrutiny: individuals and communities are all the time “working to make technologies actually work” by selecting, combining, modifying, and contextualizing them. By contrast, our consensus model of interactive systems — the technology stack supporting ‘applications’ — produces static, closed tools that resist user appropriation. I am working towards a software model where interface elements, input devices, and documents are all ‘stuff’ that may arrive in particular constellations, but can be untangled and recombined in use. In particular, this has led to the development of two novel mechanisms for programming interactions, which I call co-occurrences and entanglements. I will present and discuss this ongoing work.

Speaker Bio: I’m currently a third-year PhD student in the ex)situ research group [1] at Université Paris-Saclay, working under the supervision of Prof. Michel Beaudouin-Lafon. My work focuses on malleable software, an approach to tailorable/customizable systems that seeks to unify the experiences of “using” and “changing” software. I have pursued this research theme both by prototyping novel software architectures and studying use contexts that can motivate and challenge the vision. I am working under Michel’s ERC Advanced Grant project, ONE : Unified Principles of Interaction, which seeks to develop design principles and technologies to reconstruct software for our contemporary multiplicity of documents, tools, people, and devices [2]. Before starting my PhD, I took my bacehlor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science at Aarhus University in Denmark.

[1] ex-situ.lri.fr

[2] erc.one

This talk is part of the Rainbow Group Seminars series.

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