Upcoming Graphics Interface and GRAND Conferences in Ottawa

got the good news this week that I will be traveling to our nation’s beautiful capital for two conferences taking place in early June. At the first, Graphics Interface, I will be presenting a poster on ambient and artistic visualization of residential resource use. This research has grown out of my prototyping efforts in this area during the development of ALIS v2 for West House.

Rodgers, J. and Bartram, L. (2010). Ambient and Artistic Visualization of Residential Resource Use.

Supporting sustainable resource use in the home requires a range of feedback techniques to enable informed decision-making. These techniques can include traditional screen-based interfaces, but these tools often require too much effort and attention from already-busy residents. An alternative approach is the provision of ambient and artistic visualizations integrated into the domestic environment. This method reduces the attention required of residents, increases aesthetic interest and coherence with the home, and enables situated and timely feedback on resource use. We present the theoretical basis of our research, discuss how we have applied it to the development of prototypes in two green home projects, and detail our ongoing efforts to evaluate techniques within this domain.

After GI, I will be attending the GRAND Networks of Centres of Excellence Conference as a student representative of the Human-Centered Technologies for Sustainable Living research node. There I will be presenting a poster on the emerging design framework that I have been working on as part of my thesis research:

Rodgers, J. and Bartram, L. (2010). Residential Resource Use Feedback Technology: A Framework for Design.

Providing effective feedback on resource consumption in the home is a key challenge of environmental conservation efforts. However, existing approaches have relied on a variety of assumptions about effective techniques without a unifying theoretical foundation, or a means of reliably comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. This is a design space in need of some structure. We present a comprehensive framework for the analysis and design of tools that provide feedback on residential resource use. We base this framework on our research experience in three contexts: 1) the design and implementation of energy management systems in two high-profile sustainable homes, 2) an extensive review of the relevant literature, and 3) an analysis of existing products and tools in the marketplace and research community. We propose five sets of dimensions upon which these tools may be mapped: Context, Behaviour, Human Factors, Aesthetics, and Data. The framework serves both the investigation of existing instances and the design of future systems. We offer this framework in order to deepen our understanding of approaches to providing feedback on resource use, and in hopes of establishing a common set of terms to characterize the field.

Hope to see you in Ottawa!