The main objective of this one-day workshop is to gain an in-depth understanding about how users adapt and shape technology to their needs to match their individual communication purposes. Our workshop aims at identifying and reflecting upon experiences concerning actual technology appropriation. Thereby, we are looking for successful stories of technology appropriation to satisfy particular user’s needs as well as unsuccessful stories around technology disappropriation [Carroll, 2004] giving examples of how technology did not meet particular user’s needs. By the end of the workshop, we aim to have a collection of experiences from organizers and participants with regard to diverse aspects of appropriation (e.g., unanticipated users, usage, circumstances and design). Therefore, the workshop addresses the following goals and questions.

    Identifying appropriation practices:

  • What appropriation practices can be identified that aim at satisfying communication needs?
    Interrelating appropriation practices with communication needs:

  • How has the technology been appropriated to fit particular communication needs?
  • What ‘unexpected’ communication needs can be extracted from these examples?
    Embedding practices and needs into the context of action:

  • In what way have technologies been ‘domesticated’ in different contexts?
  • How does the technology fit into the already existing ecology of devices?
  • How do specific contexts with their inherent characteristics entail certain communication channels that can lead to these specific technology appropriations?
    Deriving an informed basis for research & design:

  • What are the potentials these experiences hold regarding the design of such technologies?

In order to discuss these questions, we invite position papers to address (but not exclusively) the following topics:

  • Examples of successful/unsuccessful technology appropriation for communication needs in different contexts;
  • Examples of technology appropriation by unanticipated users (addressing either expected/unexpected communication needs) in everyday or emergent practices;
  • Methodological approaches to explore technology appropriation for communication;
  • Theoretical accounts to technology appropriation for communication;
  • Design of collaborative systems that address expected/unexpected communication needs as a reaction to technology appropriation;
  • Design of collaborative systems that enable users to share their adaptations to technology that could be useful for others in the same situation;
  • Critical reflections on the design, implementation, and use in relation to technology appropriation practices.


Carroll, J. 2004. Completing Design in Use: Closing the Appropriation Cycle. In Proc. ECIS 2004, Turku, Finland, 11 pages. Paper 44.