Cyberspace & Digital Environments
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Cultural Aspects of Design

The Cyberspace & Digital Environments Knowledge Network extends EDRA's mission advancing knowledge of how built and natural environments impact human behavior to include the domain of Internet and digital environments, nascent when EDRA began its life 45 years ago.

Members of our Knowledge Network are interested in a wide range of cyberspace issues including (but not limited to):

  • How the derivatives from the growth of computer and communication technologies in the workplace (which include increase in telework, increase in collaborative work, and globalization of knowledge work) impact the design and use of the physical environments of these workers. And how these changes to the workplace impact performance, affect, and identity of individual workers.
  • How people redefine and re-envision their personal environment given advances in information technology. How this redefinition of personal environment mediates changes in individual attitudes and behaviors when engaging in commerce, leisure, and civic activities.  Included among these questions are those of individual perception of privacy in a society teeming with security cameras and--in the near future--drones form a panopticon of observation; and a society where both government and business retain records of our conversations, searches, and other online behaviors. How do we organize and secure our personal environment in such a society? How do these changes impact our sense of trust for others and trust for institutions? How do we re-construct boundaries (both physical and digital) in such a society? 
  • How emergent new technologies ranging from wearable computing (e.g. Google Goggles, and Microsoft Watch), to smart technology (e.g. self-driving cars and Siri), to pervasive publication of our activities (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) impact our sense of control over our personal environment, our attitudes toward privacy, and--again--our decisions to re-construct boundaries around ourselves?
  • How do we both employ these digital tools to more effectively construct new ideas, structures, and relationships (e.g. we have at our fingertips immensely powerful digital programming, design, evaluation, and collaboration tools) while at the same time understand how these tools are affecting change to the artifacts we construct with them?
  • What can we--as researchers interested in design of physical artifacts--learn from designers of digital artifacts in terms of process and method, and systemic impact? And what can we teach them? Or perhaps we and they are one.

While the questions listed here are far from the complete realm of topics of interest to us, they are representative of issues we believe critical to society, merit new research streams, and are emergent in increasing relevance to all EDRA members. These overarching categories host a wide range of topics we believe will inform discussion at EDRA in the decades to come. We begin to engage these topics now in the Cyberspace and Digital Environments Knowledge Network.


Co-Chairs: Danny Mittleman; Paul Platosh


Click here to learn more and join the conversation.


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