Author Archives: luiciolfi

About luiciolfi

I am Professor of Human Centred Computing at Sheffield Hallam University (UK) researching the design, use and evaluation of interactive technologies in the physical world. I am interested in heritage technologies, mobility, collaborative computing, interactive spaces.

‘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.

Slides from my Inaugural Lecture

I gave my inaugural professorial lecture on the 30th of January 2019.

‘Users, participants, co-designers or just pesky humans? On the challenges of human centred research in Human-Computer Interaction.’

Abstract: A main aspiration of HCI is to be human- and user- centred in its approach to creating novel digital interactions. But how do we engage, involve and encourage end users to participate in HCI? The field has tackled this challenge in many ways. Notably, Participatory Design has been widely adopted in order for users and stakeholders to become active part of the technology development process itself. This, however, is no easy feat.

In this lecture, Professor Luigina Ciolfi will examine how focusing on people, their practices and the places where they occur does lead to illuminating insights, but also brings hefty challenges. Understanding and bridging cultures, languages, priorities, and identities is hard work, with difficult negotiations and some failures bound to happen along the way. Drawing from her experience of human-centred and participatory research on topics such as cultural heritage technologies, mobile and nomadic lives, interaction in public spaces, and tangible and embodied interaction design, Luigina will reflect on the opportunities, successes and difficulties that arise when working in partnership with end-users, and on what being “human-centred” means for HCI in an age of apparent ubiquitous sharing and participation.

The slides can be found at:

The Collaborative Economy Symposium at SHU – Nov 19 2018


Date: 19th November 2018 (09AM-05PM)
Venue: The Hubs, Sheffield Hallam University Students Union, Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2QQ

The terms “Sharing Economy” or “Collaborative Economy” have been commonly used in recent years to refer to a proliferation of initiatives, business models and forms of work. The COST Action “Sharing and Caring” ( ) (2017-2021) is working to develop a European network of actors (including scholars, practitioners, communities and policy makers) focusing on the development of collaborative economy models and platforms and on its implications on society and technology.
The COST Action provides opportunities for working and collaboration on this topic across 31 countries.
This one-day Symposium will bring together interested participants to hear about current research on the topic of the collaborative economy and its implications and to discuss possible joint initiatives and projects. Presentations will take place in the morning and discussions in small thematic groups will follow in the afternoon.

The event will feature two invited keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland), Chair of the “Sharing And Caring” COST Action (full info)
  • Dr. Clara Crivellaro (Newcastle University), Principal Investigator of the EPSRC Network+ Social Justice Through the Digital Economy (full info)

The workshop will be chaired by Prof Luigina Ciolfi (SHU), UK representative on the Action’s Management Committee and Chair for Short-Term Scientific Missions.


09:00 Registration and Welcome by Prof Luigina Ciolfi (SHU)
09:30 Keynote Presentation: Dr Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland): Collaborative Economy narratives – between digital social innovation and sharewashing

10:00 Break

10:30 Keynote Presentation: Dr Clara Crivellaro (Newcastle University): Not-Equal: a model for democratizing innovation through collaborative commissioning of research

11:00 Presentations on current SHU research:

  • Dr Joe Langley (LabForLiving, Art and Design Research Centre) “Caring and Sharing Economies in the Healthcare Sector”
  • Prof Rory Ridley-Duff (Sheffield Business School) “Multi-stakeholder cooperatives in the sharing economy: four early adoptions of the FairShares Model”
  • Prof Luigina Ciolfi (Communication and Computing Research Centre) “Community-led ‘sharing and caring’ culture and heritage initiatives”

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Small Group Discussions, ideas for joint research, funding proposals, etc.
15:00 Break
15:30 Small Group Discussions continue
16:30 Final plenary discussion and closing

The venue (The Hubs, Sheffield Hallam University Students Union) is part of SHU’s City Campus, close to Sheffield train station and city centre car parks.

For practical info please contact Kate Philp (

Keynote Abstracts

Dr Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland) : Collaborative Economy narratives – between digital social innovation and sharewashing
The labels “Sharing Economy” and “Collaborative Economy” have been widely used in recent years to refer to a variety of initiatives, business models, and forms of work – from commercial platforms to makerspaces and urban gardens. Two different narratives on the collaborative economy tend to dominate the current discourse. One group of narratives focuses on social innovation, creating more sustainable economic and environmental models in which sharing access to goods and services allows for a more efficient and sustainable utilisation of resources. The second group centres on the idea of market-focused digital innovation able to disrupt existing business models and generate economic activity, social and environmental benefits being presented as the main incentive. This talk will introduc e the approach adopted within the Sharing and Caring COST action, which attempts to develop a better understanding of the wide variety of the initiatives included under the sharing economy umbrella term, rather than adopting any of the definitions offered by existing literature. The talk will describe the work undertaken so far in the different working groups, the outputs and repositories created, as well as the open collaboration opportunities available to the action participants.

Dr Clara Crivellaro (Newcastle University): Not-Equal: a model for democratizing innovation through collaborative commissioning of research
In this talk I explore the potential for collaborative processes to create the conditions for technology to support social justice. This exploration is situated within a UKRI funded project that brings together communities, civil society, industry and academia to develop responses to social justice issues in technology design through a model designed for commissioning research. I discuss the opportunities and challenges that such model presents and outline directions for the future.