call for papers

Important Dates

  • March 20, 2012: submissions due
  • April 16, 2012: participants notified
  • June 12, 2012: Workshop held in Newcastle, UK

Please send submissions and questions to: William Odom (

Submission Guidelines

We invite participants to submit a short written position paper as well as a depiction of   a Slow Technology artifact. The written portion consists of a short 1-2 page submission formatted using the ACM DIS 2012 template that responds to the statement “Slow Technology is… This introductory statement is intended to provoke the author(s) to take a specific position on the Slow Technology agenda and offer their conceptualization of what Slow Technology is. This workshop paper could (but is not required to) use the author(s) own philosophical, theoretical, empirical, or design/craft-based work to support their position.

The artifact submission is intended to be something that the authors deem constitutive of Slow Technology. These could include a personal object (e.g., personal reflection on a family heirloom), experiential accounts of “slow practices” (e.g., use of cooking tools for elaborate meal preparation), analysis of design research artifacts that incorporate the theme of “slowness” (e.g., an artifact built by the author), or existing artistic works that can offer commentary and inspiration that explores slowness (e.g. a painting or documentation of a performance piece). The artifact may be depicted pictorially; for example through a design process book or through a single image or collection of images.

We encourage submissions from diverse backgrounds including (but not limited to): art and design, the humanities, the social sciences, the information sciences, and industrial engineering. Industry and non-profit organizations are similarly encouraged. Submissions will be selected based on originality, quality, and potential to generate discussion. Both completed and in-progress work is welcome.

At least one author of each accepted paper must register for the workshop and at least one day of the ACM DIS 2012 conference.


Interactive technologies are being designed, produced, used, re-purposed, discarded and destroyed more rapidly than ever before. With these shifts, new concerns have steadily emerged across the design and HCI communities over how the growing presence of interactive technologies in people’s everyday lives—and the values embedded in their design—might shape people’s current experiences and practices as well as the lives of future generations.

Over a decade ago Hallnäs and Redström’s seminal article on Slow Technology argued that the increasing availability of technology in environments outside of the workplace requires interaction design to be expanded from creating tools to make people’s lives more efficient to creating technology that could be embedded in everyday environments over long periods of time. Since then, the Slow Technology design agenda has expanded to include high level themes such as (i) designing for slowness, solitude, and mental rest, (ii) designing interactive systems to be used across multiple generations and lifespans, and (iii) slowing the consumption (and disposal) of objects and technologies.

Some possible themes for submissions include, but certainly are not limited to:

Consumption of objects and technologies: There exist a range of work in the HCI and design communities exploring how emotional attachment to technologies might extend their longevity and increase their value. How are existing frameworks of emotional attachment used in designing for longer term interactions with technologies? What are the limitations to this approach? How does design promote reflection on or address current trends of planned obsolescence, both business models and social expectations? And, how might more systemic or service-oriented approaches complement a move towards designing for developing enduring attachment?

Legacy and consideration of multiple generations: As technologies and systems are interacted with over relatively long periods of time, questions of how they will be passed down to future generations are becoming increasingly important [e.g., 1]. In what ways can both digital data and interactive products be designed with notions of sentimentality and persistence across multiple generations in mind? To what extent should interaction designers take into account the responsibility of supporting the lives of future generations into their practice? What are the practical, ethical, and/or moral issues of doing so?

Slowness and reflection: Slow technologies can aim to invert values of efficiency in the service of supporting experiences of pause, contemplation, and reflection. Considered in contrast to efficiency and productivity, what role might “slowness” through design play in contexts including the home, the neighborhood, and the workplace? What kinds of interaction mechanisms and functionalities characterize Slow Technologies? In what ways do they compare or contrast to contemporary consumer technologies?

Infrastructural, engineering and technical concerns: Designing material technologies that can support slowness both raises questions and requires solutions regarding distinct technical challenges. What kinds of new hardware and software will be required for technologies to persist over longer periods of time? How is the durability of information and materials handled effectively and appropriately over time? To what extent can digital data and hardware be designed to endure over time?

Theoretical & ethnographic accounts of slowness: Case studies and theoretical accounts of existing people and practices can help inform the various strands of slow design. For example, how can rich accounts of durable / non-durable practices (e.g., passing down heirlooms; purging basements of unwanted clutter) inform slow technology design practice?