Ubicomp / ISWC 2019 Workshop
Beyond Individuals: Exploring Social Experience Around Wearables
Join us

Research in wearable technology focuses on the design and use of technology for and by individuals. However, many wearables are inherently social by nature as they are visible to nearby others. Wearables carry meaning that tells about wearers. Several are also designed to enable interaction between collocated people and enhance the group experience. As technology becomes wearable, it shares the design space and challenges with traditional clothes and accessories. Thus, it is important to consider social and cultural aspects the technology engenders as wearers go about in different activities and contexts in their life.

In this workshop, we look into the dynamic and communicative nature of wearable technology designed for both individuals and groups. This one-day workshop offers a space for researchers, designers, and practitioners who have designed and are interested to discuss and share their insights and challenges in designing wearable technology as a social, communicative item. Together, we will explore different kinds of social experience emerging around the technology and ways to design the technology that yields positive social experience.

Important Dates

Submission deadline:
June 14, 2019
June 21, 2019
Feedback to authors:
June 28, 2019
July 5, 2019
Camera ready version:
July 12, 2019
Sept. 10, 2019


Submissions are closed now but the workshop is open for all to attend and join the discussion. You can register for UbiComp/ISWC including workshops or only for the workshops in order to attend. We also invite everyone without a submission to present their work and bring their own wearable prototypes to the workshop. Please contact Pradthana.Jarusriboonchai [âŧ] ulapland.fi for arranging this.

We invite interested candidates to submit a two page abstract (approximately 500 words) and a poster design. The submission should highlight social experience emerged around a wearable device and share some reflection of success or failure of the design. The submissions (in PDF only) should be submitted to PCS (SIGCHI > UbiComp 2019 > UbiComp 2019 Workshop - Beyond Individuals). Submissions do not require a specific format besides being readable. The accepted submission will be included in the ACM digital library. Authors will receive further instructions for the format of the camera-ready version. The submissions will be reviewed based on their relevance to the workshop and potential for contributing to discussions. We also invite to bring the accepted participants to bring their own wearable prototypes and devices to the workshop.

UbiComp 2019
UbiComp 2019 Workshop - Beyond Individuals


The workshop consists of three parts: show and tell, try-out, and a round table discussion.

  • Show and Tell

    Participants will present and reflect on their own wearable designs through the lens of four themes. The presentations will be done in the form of posters or demo presentations. Discussions will be actively encouraged during and after each presentation.

  • Try-out

    Participants and the organisers try each others' prototypes and individually reflect on the social experiences that might emerge from using the prototypes both as a wearer and an observer. Then, the participants and the organisers share their experiences of using the prototypes and collectively reflect on them with the four workshop themes.

  • Round Table Discussion

    Participants are split into small groups based on their design objectives (e.g., design for individuals or groups). In each group, participants discuss emerging social experience and the four themes from a more generic perspective. The discussion will also cover commonality and different challenges each participant is facing and approaches to address, support and/or enhance social experience of wearable technology in different context, activities, and/or groups of people.


We will discuss the following themes during the workshop:

Theme 1: Design choices and criteria

We will identify the purpose of different wearable technology and discuss design choices. Why do participants choose to design a wearable device to be in a certain form factor, not the other? Why certain materials, interaction techniques, or visualisations are chosen for the design of the wearable device?

Theme 2: Social and cultural acceptability

We will discuss the characteristics of wearable technology that are challenging for social and cultural acceptability. How do participants consider social and cultural differences in their design of wearable technology? How does culture around wearing technology evolve in contemporary designs?

Theme 3: Social and cultural meanings

We will discuss what social and cultural meanings a wearable device might engender in terms of appearance and interactions. What symbolic meanings are created from integrated technology in everyday outfits?

Theme 4: Interaction and Experience

How using wearable technology could affect social interaction between people? How to design wearable technology that addresses or enhances the social experience? How does such technology balance the needs between an individual and a group?


Portrait of Ting Pradthana Jarusriboonchai

Ting Pradthana Jarusriboonchai

is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland. Her research explores wearable technology from aesthetics and social perspectives. She is also interested in designing tools that allow users to customise their wearable devices to match own taste and style.

Portrait of Felix A. Epp

Felix A. Epp

is a doctoral candidate in Human-computer Interaction at Aalto University in the Arts & Magic group at Computer Science and the Embodied Design Group at School of Arts, Design and Architecture. His research looks into social aspects of technology in face-to-face scenarios, especially self-expression through wearable technology.

Portrait of Thomas Olsson

Thomas Olsson

is an associate professor at Tampere University, Finland. His research explores the roles of technology in social interaction, focusing on the experiential aspects, behavioural implications, and ethics of novel ICT applications. His inter-disciplinary research approach combines qualitative user research, critical design approaches, and experimentation spanning from lab studies to field studies. He has organized several inter-disciplinary workshops in the field of HCI.

Portrait of Oscar Tomico

Oscar Tomico

is head of the Design Engineering Bachelor program at ELISAVA Design and Engineering school, Assistant Professor in the Future Everyday Research Group, working in the Wearable Senses Lab at Eindhoven University of Technology. Current projects focus on the textile industry and involve stakeholders during the design process to create ultra-personalised smart textile services in the form of soft wearables or soft interiors.

Portrait of Eric Paulos

Eric Paulos

is Director of the Hybrid Ecologies Lab, an Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley, Director of the CITRIS Invention Lab, Chief Learning Officer for the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, and faculty within the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM). His research interests include Emancipation Fabrication, Cosmetic Computing, Citizen Science, New Making Renaissance, Critical Making Culture, Robotics, Urban Computing, and New Media.

Portrait of Andrés Lucero

Andrés Lucero

is Associate Professor of Interaction Design and leader of EDG (Embodied Design Group) at Aalto University in Finland. His work focuses on the design and evaluation of novel interaction techniques for mobile devices and other interactive surfaces. His research interests include human-computer interaction, design, and play.

Portrait of Jonna Häkkilä

Jonna Häkkilä

is a professor for industrial design at the Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland, Finland. Her work focuses on user-centric design of mobile and ubiquitous computing. She is currently leading cross-disciplinary research projects addressing TechFashion, wearable displays, and combining traditional handcraft with HCI, and her works have been exhibited in Milan Design Week'16 and '17, and New York Wanted Design 2018.

Contact Us

Pradthana.Jarusriboonchai [âŧ] ulapland.fi