Passing On & Putting to RestFieldwork

While it can be a delicate and emotionally-laden topic, new technological trends compel us to confront a range of problems and issues about death and bereavement. This area presents complex challenges and the associated literature is extensive. In this project I offer a way of slicing through several perspectives in the social sciences to see clearly a set of salient issues related to bereavement. I present a theoretical lens to provide a way of conceptualizing how the HCI community could begin to approach such issues. I report field evidence from 11 in-depth interviews conducted with bereaved participants and apply the proposed lens to unpack key emergent problems and tensions. The overarching goal of this work is to advance a discussion on how the HCI design space might be sensitized to better support the social processes that unfold when bereavement occurs. This paper received a best paper honorable mention award at CHI 2010.


Odom, W., Harper, R., Sellen, A., Kirk, D., Banks, R. (2010, accepted). Passing On & Putting To Rest: Understanding Bereavement in the context of Interactive Technologies. Inproceedings of SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Atlanta, USA. CHI ’10. ACM Press, 1831-1840. *Nominated for best paper* (Local Copy, ACM Link)

Related Article

Massimi, M., Odom, W., Kirk, D., Banks, R. (2011). Matters of Life and Death: Locating the End of Life in Lifespan-Oriented HCI Research. In proceedings of SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Vancouver, Canada. CHI ’11. ACM Press, 987-996. (Local Copy, ACM Link)