Perspectives

In order to develop the idea of common interactive objects, CIO critically revisits object think­ing from a number of perspectives: Kay looked at software as ‘the clay of computing’ and proposed open and shareable objects as a way to approach this clay. Object-oriented program­ming and OO design has since become a popular, main­stream development method that has little focus on this aspect, yet the basic idea of the clay of compu­ting also points to the tension between malleability and resistance to re-shaping. In HCI, Shneiderman in his widely used textbook proposes a sim­ple, yet strong, (pre­scriptive and de­scriptive) model called the Object-Action-Interface model to focus on the relationship be­tween objects in the tasks of the users and their relationship to objects in the interface.  Beaudoin-Lafon in his Instrumental Inter­action model points to the dynamic relationships between objects and instru­ments/artifacts and presents a multi-layered understanding of objects to support analysis and design of hu­man-computer interac­tion.  While these ap­proaches have been criticized for oversimplifying the relationships between objects in the world (and actions on them) and objects and actions in the interface, they are nonetheless among the models that give hope for understanding not only use, but also the mediating role of the interface. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), boundary objects are used to address and understand sharing and cooper­ation within communities and across time and place. Boundary objects are of various types such as repositories and forms, and are often under­stood in networks, ecologies and infrastructuring processes where objects are brought together, configured and replaced over time. In Participatory Design, objects of partici­pation and engage­ment are studied  and run-away objects, are used to ad­dress software that has been modified by many, while being under the control of nobody.