ECSCW 2007 Workshop: Beyond Mobility: Studying Nomadic Work

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Call for papers & Contact

Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of portable technologies, twinned with ever more widely available connectivity and data services. This has contributed to a partial migration of work outside of traditional workplaces and working hours. However, while carrying out work at different physical locations is certainly enabled by the spread of portable technologies, mobile work cannot be merely regarded as a matter of space variability, detached and independent from the specifics of particular settings, situations, re-sources and activities. Studies of mobile workers and their usage of mobile devices have also begun to investigate how people make work possible in different places,­ re-discovering and developing 'nomadic' practices, ­ and how work is achieved in these places.  Insights from these studies reveal a large spectrum of variabilities and practices, articulated around different artefacts, infrastructures and locations.

The term 'mobility', we feel, has failed to address such complexities. We turn
to the term 'nomadic' work, because it refers to the need for re-searchers
to become aware of the dynamic practical achievement involved in making the
most of, and working in, different places.

This workshop will discuss the challenge of understanding mobility as a situated and nomadic achievement and comprehensive of many different aspects, with particular attention to the re-consideration of analytical frameworks and of methodologies adopted to study it. 


We invite Position Papers (2-3 pages). Paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length with good time for discussion. Work-in-progress is very welcome. Participation is limited to 15 participants. Papers and/or data excerpts will be circulated beforehand.

Important dates

July 20

Deadline for submissions

July 25

Notification of acceptance

ECSCW early bird registration

Deadline for registration

September 24

Beyond Mobility: Studying Nomadic Work

September 25-28



09.00 09.15


09:15  10:30


Divitini, M. and Morken, E.M. Connectedness in nomadic work: The case of practice based education.

Perry, M. Enabling nomadic work: Developing the concept of 'Mobilization Work'.

Buscher, M. Infrastructural improvisation:
Non-modern nomads on the move

Ciolfi, L. and Gray, B. Nomadic work/home boundaries in the ‘new economy’

You, Y. and Akerman, P. Virtual Office for nomadic collaboration

Watts-Perotti, J. What will work be like in the next decade?.

Rossitto, C. Managing work by bridging places

10:30  11:00 


11:00  12:30


Groth, K. Moving from place to place in a surgical setting.

Kristensen, M.Technology and work within emergency medicine.

McKnight, J. and Doherty, G. Design Concepts for Mobile Healthcare Work.

Gross, T. Patterns in movement.

Rodriguez, L. A-On (Always On).

Mark, G. and Su, N. A Model for Nomadic Work: Reflecting on Strategies of Pastoralist Nomads

12:30 13:45 

Lunch +

13:30 15:00

Group work

15:00 15:30

Reporting back from group work

15:30 16:00 


16:00 17:00 

Discussion and workshop poster


Joint Dinner


The organizing group brings together practical expertise in conducting studies of nomadic practices in a number of domains, as well as a strong interest in conceptually extending the frameworks for understanding mobility.

Cristian Bogdan is a researcher at the HCI Department of the School for Computer Science and Communication, KTH Stockholm and at the Institute for Computer Technology, Vienna Technical University. Having studied amateur work and technology for his PhD, he continued focusing on one of its most prominent features, the 'nomadic' aspect, and looked at nomadicity as a work condition in everyday work.

Monika Büscher is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) at Lancaster University, UK. Her research interests focus on ethnomethodological studies of work, science and technology studies, participatory design, CSCW and ubicomp. Mobility of people and materials, as well as experiences of being in motion or on the move are an important aspect of her research.

Luigina Ciolfi is a Research Fellow at the Interaction Design Centre, University of Limerick, Ireland. Her main research interests focus on people’s experience of technology in the physical world, notions of space and place and situated conduct, particularly in the context of ubicomp. She has been designing technology in public spaces, museum interactives and place-sensitive interactive artefacts supporting nomadic work.

Chiara Rossitto is a PhD student in HCI at the School of Computer Science and Communication, KTH Stockholm. Her current research focuses on understanding the nomadic character of students' group work and on developing design concepts to support nomadic work. Chiara is also interested in notions of space and place,
participatory design, CSCW and collaborative writing.

Last Modified: 18 September 2007, © PalCom