CSCW 2021

I am General Co-Chair (together with Jeremy Birnholtz) of CSCW 2021, to be held online from the 23rd to the 27th of October 2021.

ACM CSCW is a top venue for research in the design and use of technologies that affect groups, organisations, communities, and networks. Bringing together top researchers and practitioners, CSCW explores the technical, social, material, and theoretical challenges of designing technology to support collaborative work and life activities. Join us as we explore how technologies can enable new ways of living and working together.

2021 will be the second year the conference takes place online, to ensure safe and inclusive attendance for delegates from around the world.

We invite authors to submit their best research on all topics relevant to collaborative and social computing. To support diverse and high-quality contributions, CSCW uses a minimum of two-cycle review process with opportunity for major revisions reviewed by the same reviewers. Additionally, no arbitrary length limit is imposed on submissions. Accepted papers are published in two annual CSCW issues of the Proceedings of the ACM on Human Computer Interaction (PACM HCI).

Calls for Participation will soon be issued by other conference venues, including Posters, Demos, Workshops, Panels and Doctoral Consortium. Full information on the ACM CSCW 2021 Organizing Committee can be found here.

Going West!

There are big changes ahead! After eight years of work and fun in Sheffield, I will be leaving SHU and the UK to move back to Ireland. From November 2020 my new job will be at University College Cork, where I will work as Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Applied Psychology. I am looking forward to the challenge, and to being part of an excellent community of educators and researchers. A particular highlight is that I will join the People and Technology Research Group. An established team of outstanding HCI academics led by Professor John McCarthy, the group shares my own ethos and approach to HCI research:

“The group is committed to experience-centred, participatory approaches to the design of technology…(…) Helping ensure that technological developments give people a chance for a richer life” (Read more)

I think I will feel right at home!

Additionally, I will remain linked to the Culture & Creativity Research Institute at SHU as a visiting researcher, so that I can keep being part of the CultureLabs project.

This move will be a milestone for me, intellectually and academically. I studied and worked in Computer Science schools and departments over the past 21 years. However, my academic history originally began in social science, with a Laurea degree in Communication from a department of social, cognitive and political sciences that has a longstanding tradition of HCI grounded in cognitive and social psychology.
Being back in social science might lead me to reflect more on what I think the humanistic side of HCI should concern itself with, and what we should do next. I hope to maintain links to Computer Science, but I will relate to it in a slightly different way. I certainly see it as an opportunity for some programmatic thoughts for the discipline, for the community, and for myself.


A view of Cork City

Finally, the personal bit. As an academic and a person, I cannot help but think that I am a “product” of the European Union. My very first academic research experience was as part of a EU project. That’s where I discovered what I was passionate about and what I wanted to do for a living. My first academic job was as part of a EU project. And after that my PhD was funded by a EU project, granting me the immense privilege of studying and training as part of a team of experts and with the freedom of full financial support. Since then, some of my best research has been made possible by European funds and networks. And even when I have been generously supported by other grants and funders, my outlook has been European, and broadly international. This is why I gladly give my time to contribute to EUSSET, and to bring my perspective as a European researcher into other international organisations such as SIGCHI.

Yes, I am one of these “citizens of nowhere”, and I am very proud of it. I do not take it for granted that I have been able to freely work and live in two other countries as well as as the one I was born in, and that I could establish friendships and collaborations on an international scale even when I was a junior researcher, with a CV that was half a page long and no clue. Ireland welcomed me back then, and was my home for 13 years. I never once felt unwelcome, or unsafe, or unsure about my rights and responsibilities. I hope Ireland will welcome me again!

‘Made To Work’ has been published!

Screenshot 2020-06-04 at 13.38.48Together with Breda Gray and Fabiano Pinatti, I have co-authored Made To Work: Mobilising Contemporary Worklives, which has now been published by Routledge under the “Changing Mobilities” series.

Made to Work analyses the conditions of mobile knowledge work (MKW) in contemporary worklives, contrasting and drawing parallels among three highly significant sectors of the Knowledge Economy: academia, information communication technology (ICT) management, and digital creative work.

It introduces the concept of ‘corollary work’ to characterise the elusive work underpinning the configuration of workers, informational, technological, relational and infrastructural resources in (re)producing liveable worklives. In the book, we unpack corollary work in relation to time, place, productivity and identity in the lives of mobile knowledge workers. The book as a whole ultimately illuminates the myriad strands of corollary work that enable MKW to take place and contributes to emergent debates on how exploitation, at least in the domain of MKW, can be named, resisted and creatively subverted. In so doing, it opens up a conversation about the complex ways in which contemporary worklives are ‘made to work’, and about potential interventions to bring about more just worklife conditions in the future.

The book is the result of a five years of fieldwork and over ten years of collaboration with my co-authors that originated in the “Nomadic Work/Life” project at the University of Limerick.

Made To Work can be purchased as hardcover or as eBook directly from Routledge or from Amazon. If you read the book, we would also be very thankful if you could post a review! Please contact me or my co-authors if you have any questions or want to discuss the book.

Visiting Fellowship at Maynooth and Study Recruitment

I will spend February 2020 in Ireland as a visiting research fellow at Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute. I am looking forward to forging new collaboration at MU and beyond!

As part of the visit, I will conduct an interview study on “Digital tools in the practices of digital mobile workers in Ireland”, part of a theme of my work that I have been investigating for many years. The study will explore the role of digital tools in the practices of professionals working in the Irish digital sector.

I am seeking participants who are over 18 years of age, currently working (either full-time or part-time) in the digital technology sector as independent workers, start-up managers or freelancers, who are based in the greater Dublin area but regularly work on the move in a variety of spaces (co-working spaces, cafés, hotels, home offices, etc.).

The interview is expected to last between 40 and 90 minutes and all the raw data collected will be confidential. Excerpts from the data that may be used in publications and presentations will be fully anonymised.

All participants will be thanked for their participation with an Amazon voucher of the value of £20 (approximately €23).

The interviews will take place during February 2020 at a convenient location in Greater Dublin (i.e. I, the researcher, will travel to you), and time of your choice.

A full information sheet with details on the study and on the planned use of data can be found at this link. The study was approved by Sheffield Hallam University UREC (Converis number ER21073756), according to the SHU research ethics policy.

If you are interested in participating and/or wish to ask further questions about this study, please contact me at or via skype at luigina.ciolfi and I will get back to you by email or phone to discuss potential participation.

New Book! “Human-Computer Interactions in Museums”

My new book written in collaboration with Professor Eva Hornecker is now published!

CoverShot copy

“Human-Computer Interactions in Museums” is available from the Morgan & Claypool online store as e-book or paperback. 

From the publishers:

Human-Computer Interactions in Museums by Eva Hornecker and Luigina Ciolfi consolidates the body of work in HCI conducted in the heritage field and integrates it with insights from related fields and from digital heritage practice. Processes of HCI design and evaluation approaches for museums are also discussed. This book is designed for students and early career researchers in HCI or Interaction Design, for more seasoned investigators who might approach the museum domain for the first time, and for researchers and practitioners in related fields such as heritage and museum studies or visitor studies. Designers who might wish to understand the HCI perspective on visitor-facing interactive technologies may also find this book useful.

The book is the first resource for practitioners and students that provides overviews of the key issues in the study and design of human-computer interactions in museums. Examples, reflections, and illustrations from the authors’ extensive experience are included.”

The book will also be available for purchase at the Morgan & Claypool stand at CHI 2019 in Glasgow in May.