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Title: Family portrayals design to support photographic representations of intergenerational relationships in family homes
Author: Durrant, Abigail Christine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 9049
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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Focusing on intergenerational relationships, this project combined theoretical and empirical studies to explore the use of photographs in self and family representation at home. This exploration was considered timely given the recent adoption of digital capture devices by both parents and children and the unprecedented amount of photographic content that they generate. This has raised interesting questions concerning the digitisation and democratisation of family photography, in terms of form and content. Inquiry was positioned in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). The proposed contribution of the project to the HCI field was threefold. First, findings on the psychological function of photographic displays were intended to inform the design and innovation of display technologies for family homes. A focus upon home display was informed by the recent emergence of new display technology paradigms; and a critical perspective was adopted on the potential application of these technologies in home settings. Second, findings were intended to illuminate the social psychological function of photos as cultural artefacts. In order to inter-relate psychological understandings and the practice of design, the project engaged multiple discourses, inviting a third contribution: to develop the foundations of an interdisciplinary methodological approach. Epistemological compatibility for this inquiry was found in Phenomenology and the use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Qualitative research constituted three empirical studies, plus conceptual design exercises and the fabrication of a novel design for inclusion in empirical work. The research population comprised parents and their older teenagers, of British nationality, residing together in the United Kingdom. For Study One, participants were interviewed at home about their use of stored and displayed photos for portraying self and family. Analysis highlighted the significance of portrayals for shaping the social, moral order of homes, and the design implications of this. Study Two explored the potential integration of teenagers’ and parents’ photo displays in communal domestic spaces and how digital display design may support intergenerational expression. Findings supported integration and further design implications were generated. Study Three engaged the same teenagers exclusively and explored their use of Internet-enabled platforms at home for self and family representation. Findings revealed how their display practices mediated self-processes and related to the functioning of the family household. Psychological insights and design considerations were produced from this research. New questions and opportunities were established for future researchers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Microsoft Research European Scholarship Programme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available