Digital technologies and the emotional family

Patrick Olivier, Jayne Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We present an alternative view of family communication that foregrounds both the emotional lives of family members and that which is of personal significance to them. Through the reflections of our participants, and our design response to these, we have used the design of digital jewellery as a window on the family as an emotional entity. In doing so we escape conventional assumptions as to how technology might support family life, and instead propose alternative forms of technology that serve as acceptable sites for highly personalised and personally significant emotional statements. Two designs are presented, Traces and Blossom, which are both responses to the lives and personal accounts of our participants, and a challenge to the conventions of interaction design. By reflecting on our designs we identify and unpick assumptions as to the nature of the digital technology with a view to opening up a design space that places an emphasis on both the individual and the authentic character of our emotional lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-214
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


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