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Interface Studies: Human-Computer Interaction for the 21s century.

Interface Studies: Human-Computer Interaction for the 21s century.


Dr. J.A.A. Simons (Associate Professor New Media, Dept. of Media Studies)

Members of the research group

J.A. Alves Lino

M.J. Dieter MA dr. J.D. Kiverstein

N.A. Knoller R.J.H. Scha dr. J.A.A. Simons

External Members:

B. Salem (University of Northumbria, UK; fellow researcher at ASCA)

Description of the research programme of the research group

Computation is no longer confined to the desktop or laptop computer, but has become embedded in  not only mobile and wearable devices like mobile phones, tablet computers, mp3 players etc., but becomes increasingly embedded in all sorts of ‘smart’ objects, household appliances, vehicles, smart homes, office buildings, public places and has given rise to the emergence of even smart cities. Ideally, smart objects and environments should become sensitive and responsive to the needs, desires and preferences of their users and even anticipate these. These developments inevitably introduce new  ways of interacting with computational systems and interfaces other than the Graphical User Interface (GUI) that has dominated human-computer interaction for more than a quarter of a century, such as the touch screens of mobile devices, ‘Natural User Interfaces’ (NUIs) that have been introduced through computer games, and even invisible and unobtrusive interfaces that sense the presence, movements or activities of users and in response take action in the background. Pervasive and ubiquitous computing will have – and partly already has – profound implications for the relationship between humans and technologies, and for the ways humans will perceive, experience and interact with their environments. Pervasive and ubiquitous computing will also deeply affect the professions and practices of designers, architects, and urban planners and also raise a number of fundamental philosophical, ethical, political, aesthetic and cultural problems. The Interface Studies Group addresses these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective where scholars from humanities and engineering, artists and designers collaborate. The group conducts a monthly seminar, prepares a conference for the year 2013-2014, envisages a special issue of a peer reviewed magazine, a book publication, and (at least) three PhD theses in the upcoming four years.

Envisaged results

Two NWO applications; two conferences (in 2014 and 2016, respectively); two workshops or expert meetings (2015 and 2017, respectively); 3 PhD theses (to be defended between 2015 and 2017); one special issue of a peer reviewed magazine; two monographs; conference papers and peer reviewed articles.

Work plan and time schedule

See above: in the upcoming four academic years the group will have a monthly seminar; two international conferences are foreseen for 2014 and 2016; two international workshops or expert meetings are scheduled for 2015 and 2017; three PhD theses will be defended between 2015 and 2017; NWO grant applications will be submitted in 2014 and 2015; one special issue of a peer reviewed international journal will be edited and published in 2015; two monographs will be published in 2015 and 2017, respectively; during the upcoming four years, papers will be submitted to international conferences and articles will be published in international, peer reviewed journals.

Societal relevance

Ubiquitous and pervasive computing will become part of the everyday environments, in private as well as public spaces. In the Netherlands the domain of ‘domotica’ is at and advanced stage, especially in health care and care for the elderly. A deeper understanding of the cognitive, affective, aesthetic, but also of the philosophical and ethical dimensions of ubiquitous computing is necessary for the development of not only effective, but also responsible and ‘human’ pervasive and ubiquitous computational systems.

This research group is active in the follow constellations:


Cultural and Social Critique