Exploring the effects of space and place on engagement with an interactive installation

Imeh Akpan, Paul Marshall, Jon Bird, Daniel Harrison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

48 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Very little research has concurrently explored the influence of both physical space and social context (or place) on the way people engage with a public interactive display. We addressed this issue with a novel approach: studying how people engaged with the same interactive installation in ten situations with varying spatial and social properties. The main finding across these studies is that place trumps space: a conducive social context could overcome a poor physical space and encourage interaction; conversely, an inappropriate social context could inhibit interaction in spaces that might normally facilitate engagement. We discuss this finding in terms of the salience of the display within the space, the visibility of incidental interactions with the installation, the different understandings of place that people can have in the same location, and the role of emergent champions and comperes in encouraging interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2013
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Perspectives, Conference Proceedings - The 31st Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450318990
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2013
Event31st Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2013: Changing Perspectives - Palais de Congrès de Paris, Paris, France
Duration: 27 Apr 20132 May 2013
Conference number: 31


Conference31st Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2013
Abbreviated titleCHI 2013
OtherThe ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference on human-computer interaction.CHI 2013 is about changing perspectives: we draw
from the constantly changing perspectives of the diverse CHI community and beyond, but we also change perspectives, offering new visions of people interacting with technology. The conference is multidisciplinary, drawing from science, engineering and design, with contributions from research
and industry in 15 different venues. CHI brings together students and experts from over 60 countries, representing different cultures and different application areas, whose diverse perspectives influence each other.
Internet address


  • Interaction
  • Place
  • Public display
  • Situated display
  • Space


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