2013 – Liam Bannon and Kjeld Schmidt

2013 EUSSET-IISI Lifetime Achievement Award to Liam Bannon and Kjeld Schmidt

Laudatio:
Kjeld Schmidt
 and Liam Bannon were largely responsible for the creation and development of European CSCW research as a distinctive research arena, one in which attention to practice became regarded as fundamental to the design of socio-technical systems. Both have made a foundational contribution to the critical challenge that this European perspective has brought to design thinking. Not least, they have established and maintained a level of scholarship that is seldom equalled in the interdisciplinary arena. They were jointly and separately influential in the establishing of the both well-regarded and influential CSCW journal, of which Professor Schmidt has been the long- standing editor, and of the biennial ECSCW conference series. Their continued influence is evidenced by the enviable number of citations attached to a wide- ranging set of papers that they have contributed, separately and together, to CSCW and HCI. Their clarity of thought and purpose  has been an inspiration to a generation of scholars and practitioners.

Liam Bannon was born in 1953 in Dublin, Ireland, and studied psychology and computer science at University College, Dublin and Trinity College, Dublin, followed by a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 1981. An early interest in artificial intelligence in the 70’s was replaced by the study of human factors in computing in the 80?s. He worked with Don Norman?s group at UCSD in the early days of the HCI field, stressing the role of the computer as a communication and collaboration tool/medium, and then came to Scandinavia in the late 80’s to learn about Scandinavian approaches to participatory design, working mainly at Aarhus University. Liam has also worked at a large number of research institutes and Universities  in the US and Europe over the years. From 1993-2009, Liam worked at the University of Limerick, Ireland, as Professor and Founding Director of the Interaction Design Centre. He has articulated an approach to human-centred design based on augmentation rather than substitution as an alternative to the prevailing “ambient intelligence paradigm.

Kjeld Schmidt was born in 1945 in Esbjerg, Denmark. Initially a software programmer (1965-72), he was awarded the MSc degree in sociology from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1974. After a decade of research focusing on processes of socio-economic transformation, he decided in 1985 to devote his energies to the then only emerging area of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), first as a researcher in private industry but from 1989 at Risø National Laboratory. From 1998, he has held faculty positions at universities in the Copenhagen area and is now professor of Work, Organization, and Technology at Copenhagen Business School. Schmidt has been the Editor-in-Chief of the CSCW Journal since 1992. His main scholarly contributions to CSCW have been centered on what can be termed its conceptual foundations. In this line of work, he has, for example, contributed to the clarification of key concepts such as “work”, “cooperative work”, “awareness”, “knowledge”, and “practice”. In his technology-oriented research, he has been deeply involved in the development of computational technologies that will enable ordinary workers to express and execute the protocols of their coordinative practices such as workflows and classification schemes in a fully distributed and flexible manner.

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