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      Making Public Media Personal: Nostalgia and Reminiscence in the Office


      1 , 2 , 2 , 1 , 2

      Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

      Human Computer Interaction

      4 - 8 July 2011

      reminiscence, nostalgia, identity, privacy, social engagement, workplace



            In this paper we explore the notion of creating personally evocative collections of content from publicly available material. Compared to the personal media that we look at, reminisce over, or personalise our offices with, public media offers the potential for a different type of nostalgia, signifiers of an era such as entertainment, products, or fashions. Reminiscence from public media may be particularly valuable in the workplace, where existing practices of office personalisation bring benefits, but also concerns in terms of privacy and disclosing too much of one’s identity. The use of filtered public media may mitigate concerns over privacy, while providing similar benefits in terms of reminiscence, improving mood, and developing identity. After preliminary explorations of content and form, we developed a two-screen ambient display that cycled through 500 images automatically retrieved based on four simple user questions. We ran a two-week trial of the display with six users. We present qualitative results of the trial from which we see that it is possible to bring the delight associated with personal content into the workplace, while being mindful of issues of appropriateness and privacy. Images of locations from childhood were particularly evocative for all participants, while simple objects such as stickers, music, or boardgames were more varied across participants. We discuss a number of avenues for future work in the workplace and beyond: improving the chance of an evocative moment, capturing the mundane, and the crowdsourcing of nostalgia.


            Author and article information

            July 2011
            July 2011
            : 351-360
            [1 ]Electronics and Computer Science

            University of Southampton, UK
            [2 ]Microsoft Research

            Cambridge, UK
            © Paul André et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction
            Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
            4 - 8 July 2011
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Human Computer Interaction
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing


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