Potentials of the ‘Unexpected’: Technology Appropriation Practices and Communication Needs

Whether in private or professional life, individuals frequently adapt the technology around them and work with what they have at hand in order to accomplish a certain task. In this one-day workshop, we will discuss how this form of technology appropriation is used to satisfy communication needs. Thereby, we specifically focus on technology that was not intended to facilitate communication, but which led to appropriation driven by individuals’ communication needs.

Our aim is to identify ‘unexpected’ communication needs, to better address these in the design of interactive systems. We focus on a variety of different contexts, ranging from not restricted contexts to environments that are characterized by strict regulations (e.g., production lines with 24/7 shift production cycles). Consequently, this workshop aims at better understanding how users adapt technology to match their individual communication purposes and how these appropriation practices interrelate with and support organizational cooperation.