Archived entries for CHI 2010

Three presentations and one rejection

irst, the bad news: my submission to the CHI 2010 Work-in-Progress stream was not accepted for publication. The reviewers gave favourable feedback about the topic, the timeliness of the contribution, and the opportunity to study these systems in context, but noted that there was not an explicit emphasis on methodology and evaluation. This is valid; however, my understanding of the Work-in-Progress stream was that this venue is specifically provided as a channel for sharing this kind of incomplete research. Nevertheless, the feedback has helped me to understand those aspects of my research that need to be articulated more fully in order to meet the requirements of peer-review. It would have been a thrill to be accepted and present in April, but I’m not crushed; CHI is difficult to get into. Here’s to other venues and to CHI next year!

The good news: I’ve recently had the opportunity to make presentations about the results of North House and the direction of my research to three different groups. It’s always enjoyable to distill ideas and results into a coherent and articulate presentation that is relevant to different audiences, including public servants and policy planners, engineers in industry, and my fellow students. Please find my slides from each presentation below.

BC Hydro is the public energy utility in British Columbia. They have funded my research to this point in my degree through a MITACS grant. In my presentation on January 8th, I presented the findings from my ongoing literature review.

Johnny Rodgers and Dr. Lyn Bartram

Halsall Associates is an engineering firm with both Canadian and international offices that is focussed on sustainability in buildings and construction. We were invited to present our work on North House to them on November 23rd at their office in North Vancouver. This presentation included a fairly detailed discussion of the home automation system by Chris Brandson of VerTech Solutions, who I worked closely with on North Hosue.

Dr. Lyn Bartram, Chris Brandson, and Johnny Rodgers

Finally, last night (February 2nd) I presented a pre├žis of my research agenda to my Qualitative Methods of Inquiry class at the School of Interactive Arts & Technology. This presentation walks through my research goals, problem, projects, methods, and questions as I am currently thinking about them.

Johnny Rodgers

Two papers submitted

long with Dr. Lyn Bartram and my colleague Kevin Muise, I’ve recently submitted two papers for publication. The first, which has been reviewed and accepted, will be published in the Visualization Viewpoints column of IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications in the spring of 2010.

Bartram, L., Rodgers, J. and Muise, K. (2010). Chasing the Negawatt: Visualization for Sustainable Living.

Information visualization has an important role to play in enabling residents to understand and manage their use of resources in the home. Existing solutions designed for building managers in industrial and commercial contexts do not account for the diversity of factors at play in effective visualization of residential energy consumption. In this discussion, we discuss several of these factors, such as placement, visibility, aesthetics, and integration with an information and visualization ecosystem. We then discuss how we applied our research to the design of ALIS (Adaptive Living Interface System), the interactive computing and information visualization backbone of North House, a net-zero home that placed 4th in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. We envision this combination of green building methods with pervasive visualization technologies as a powerful vehicle for helping to encourage conservation in a residential setting. However, we highlight that simply transferring current approaches into the residential environment is inappropriate. Finally, we briefly address the myriad challenges involved in the evaluation of these techniques.

The second has been submitted to the CHI Work-In-Progress stream as an extended abstract and poster submission. We’ll find out in February if the submission has been accepted.

Rodgers, J., Bartram, L., and Muise, K. (2010). ALIS: Designing an interactive ecosystem for sustainable living.

In this paper we describe the design of ALIS (Adaptive Living Interface System), a distributed system of control and feedback interfaces to support sustainable living in an alternative energy home. ALIS was developed for North House, a net-zero energy home that placed 4th in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009. We present the context and goals of our research, outline the components of the system we are developing and suggest that they comprise an interactive ecosystem, and discuss the challenges and successes we have experienced during the process. Finally, we position this work in relation to our broader research agenda into human-centered systems for sustainable living and our continued work on ALIS.

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