I&IC Workshop #1 at HEAD: “Soilless”, an ethnographic research

The first workshop in the project corresponds to a preliminary field research phase devoted to understanding people’s relationship with the Cloud. Given our ambition to revisit and explore alternative personal cloud systems, we find it important to investigate actual usage, problems, limits, experiences and situations related to the pervasive use of cloud computing.


Soilless – a research introduction and a field study from iiclouds.org design research on Vimeo.


Based on a series of user interviews and observations, we will address various issues related to this theme. Our aim is to have a sample of participants which practices have a certain diversity: nomadic workers, third-space users, musicians, VJs, journalists, etc. These interviews will be complemented by an analysis of on-line forums and groups focused on the discussion of cloud-related issues (Dropbox forums, blogs and social media messages discussing the limits and problems of these platforms, etc.).

I&IC workshop #1 at HEAD: literature

By Sunday, September 28, 2014 Tags: 0034, Ethnography, Research, Users Permalink 0

It seems that practices related to Cloud Computing are not so commonly investigated. Here’s a short list of papers about user research, sadly mostly focused on professional practices:

England, D., Randles, M., & Taleb-Bendiab, A. (2011). Designing interaction for the cloud. Proceeding CHI EA ’11 CHI ’11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 2453-2456

Farnham, S.D., Turski, A., & Halai, S. (2012). Docs.com: Social file sharing in Facebook. In Proc. ICWSM 2012. Cambridge, MA: AAAI Press.

Marshall, C. & Tang, J.C. (2012). That syncing feeling: Early user experiences with the cloud, in Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2012, ACM, 11 June 2012.

Muller, M., Millen, D.R., & Feinberg, J. (2010). Patterns of usage in an enterprise file-sharing service: Publicizing, discovering, and telling the news. In Proceedings of CHI 2010. New York: ACM Press, pp. 763–766.

Rader, E. (2009). Yours, mine, and (not) ours: Social influences on group information repositories. In Proceedings of CHI 2009. New York: ACM Press, pp. 2095–2098.

Shami, N.S., Muller, M., & Millen, D. (2011). Browse and discover: Social file sharing in the enterprise. In Proc. CSCW 2011. New York: ACM Press, pp. 295–304.

Tang, J.C., Brubaker, J.C. & Marshall, C.C. (2013). What Do You See In The Cloud? Understanding the Cloud-Based User Experience through Practices, in Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2013, Springer, 2 September 2013.

Voida, A., Olson, J.S., & Olson, G.M. (2013). Turbulence in the clouds: Challenges of cloud-based information work. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013). Paris, France, April 27–May 2. New York: ACM Press, pp. 2273-2282.



HEAD / Media Design

Prof. Nicolas Nova

Co-Head of the I&IC design research.

Nicolas Nova is Professor at the Geneva University of Arts and Design (HEAD – Geneva) and founder of the Near Future Laboratory, a design studio based in Europe and California. His work is about identifying weak signals as well as exploring people’s needs, motivations and contexts to map new design opportunities and chart potential futures.

Nicolas has given talks and exhibited his work on the intersections of design, technology and the near-future possibilities for new social-technical interaction rituals in venues such SXSW, AAS, O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference and the design week in Milano, the Institute for the Future, the MIT Medialab.

He holds a Phd in Human-Computer Interaction from the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL, Switzerland) and was previously a visiting researcher at the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA). He is also curatot for Lift Conference, a series of international events about digital culture and innovation.


Contact: nicolas[dot]nova[at]hesge[dot]ch