Future living in a participatory way

Laurence Claeys, Johan Criel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter introduces the concept of critical user participation as a means to see the socio-technical gap in context aware applications as an opportunity rather then a problem space. It argues that for context aware applications to get integrated in everyday life, the principles of critical user participation as defined in this chapter must be fulfilled. The main reason for this is the fact that 'context' never can be modeled in a way useful for different persons. In the first part of the chapter the authors scrutinize the concepts of 'context' and 'participation' and argue why critical user participation principles should be fulfilled when developing and interacting with context aware applications. An overview of what is defined as participation within user-centered design and the participation shifts in the development of context aware applications until now are given. The second part consists of an empirical study on the existing vision and context aware applications of the 'homes of the future' in Belgium and the Netherlands. In the conclusions a reflection is made upon the opportunities of the socio-technical gap to empower the users of context aware applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Socio-Technical Design and Social Networking Systems
EditorsB. Whitworth, A. De Moor
Place of PublicationHershey
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-60566-264-0
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

B. Whitworth & A. de Moor


  • methodology
  • sensor
  • ubiqutous computing
  • context awareness
  • user study
  • participation
  • design requirements

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