AT IT 2004: FIRST INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON
ACTIVITY THEORY BASED PRACTICAL METHODS FOR IT DESIGN
In conjunction with
the Third Nordic Conference on Cultural and Activity Research.
Thursday-Friday, September 2-3, 2004.
Organised by Olav W. Bertelsen, Mikko Korpela & Anja Mursu
For two decades, the activity theory framework has gained increasing
popularity within the IT-design communities (software, IS, HCI, CSCW,
PD, ...), but it has mostly been applied as a conceptual framework
for researchers. The collection "Context and Consciousness" (MIT
press 1996) intended to fill the gab between academic theorizing and
practical design, but did not quite succeed in being a genuine
resource for practical design. Based on the long list of successful
applications of AT in this domain we believe it is time to extract a
collection of methods.
Purpose and structure
The purpose of the workshop is to discus and refine methods for IT
design based on activity theory. Thereby, we will stimulate the
evolution of true design methods beyond particularistic analyses, and
general perspectives. The format of the workshop requires all
participants to submit a practical AT based method or technique for
The submissions should be composed of two parts. The first part is a
description of the method or technique itself, in a format that would
be suitable for a textbook for practitioners. The other part is a
short paper, reflecting the method, how it is based on activity
theory, its history, how it has been used in practice etc.
1. A cookbook description of a specific method:
The cookbook description should be written so that a practitioner
could use it in real situations without unnecessary complication. It
should at least include details on: application domain, outcomes,
users the method, phases of the system development process supported,
application setting, the involvement users, specific procedure,
needed understanding theory required to use the method.
2. A short paper, discussing the method and reporting on
practical experience with the method. It should outline the
historical background of the method including how its realistic
applicability has been investigated.
More specific guidelines for the method descriptions and short
papers, will be available in the second call for participation
Types of submissions that will not be accepted
Papers that reflect on a project where AT was involved without the
explicit extraction of a method, practitioners can use; analyses of
state of the art of AT in IT-design.
After the workshop, we will make an edited collection based on the
workshop contributions. The main part of each chapter will consist of
the actual method description and it will be supplemented with the
parts of the reflective paper to if it fits the style of
presentation. In addition to the method chapters, the book may have a
few purely reflective or case based chapters. The intended audience:
practitioners in it-design and systems development, students (the
book will would be useful as a text book for a specialized
interaction design course), and researchers. We will aim to have a
version of the whole collection ready by the end of next year.
Submission: April 30, 2004.
Accept/reject: June 1, 2004
Revised versions: July 31, 2004
Workshop: September 2-3, 2004
Book chapters first draft: October 10, 2004
Reviews/comments: October 31, 2004
Revised version for publishing: December 1, 2004
Book ready to send to publisher: December 31, 2004
Contact and further information
Olav W. Bertelsen (olavb AT daimi DOT au DOT dk)
Mikko Korpela (mikko DOT Korpela AT uku DOT fi)
Anja Mursu (anja DOT mursu AT uku DOT fi)