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Huda Khan

1. what did you find
1.1. interesting about the article?

What I found most interesting were two concepts:
a) the "symmetry of ignorance" or the differences between perspectives and domain knowledge and expertise
levels between participants in the design process was described as a potential asset. This set of
differences was considered something that would lead to "constructive" chaos, and it was not defined
as a problem or gap that had to be "overcome" but rather managed successfully for the best results.

b)"Boundary" objects are defined as physical objects which lie on the boundaries between people
s perceptions or knowledge. They become physical manifestations of concepts and ideas which the team must
navigate together. I found the transition from cognitive to physical artifact in a group cognition setting
very interesting.
1.2. not interesting about the article?

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

Discussing the different changes and developments in HCI which are necessary to support collaborative participatory design which
can exploit the symmetry of ignorance, and emphasizing the need for end-users to be active participants in the design process
and not just be consumers, the article describes the EDC as a research prototype for examining certain
fundamental issues regarding informed participation and collaborative contextualized distributed cognition.

3. are themes discussed in the article which you would like to know more about?

Ideas on the role of physical objects within cognition and what "bounded" rationality refers to, as well
as actual applications of these ideas and opposing viewpoints.
4. what did you find interesting about the “EDC” system?

What I found most interesting was how the combined use of the action and reflection space helped
the participants to both create a shared model of understanding and then to reflect on the
possible consequences of their design without having to experience
a huge learning curve with new technologies. Using technologies which seem to be fairly intuitive
or at least which do not overwhelm users with too many new methods to learn, the EDC allows
for informed collaborative dialogue and for the framing of a problem in a distributed collaborative setting.

5. do you know of other papers, ideas, and systems which are closely related to the article and
the ““EDC” system?

"Distributed cognition" by Hutchins explores some ideas on external representations and how they can be used in distributed cognition,
as well as the notion of history-enriched objects which seems to mirror the way information is associated with physical objects
in the EDC.
Also, the concept of "Common Ground" which describes how shared perspective must be created and what some of the
assumptions and obstacles present may be.

6. what do the article and the associated system say about
6.1. design

End-users must be active participants in the design process because they bring their perspectives on
what is the actual problem to be solved.

6.2. learning

Contextualizing information allows for people to focus on the information which is relevant to the task at hand instead of being
overwhelmed by disassociated chunks of information to which they cannot relate easily. This contextualization of information
helps in learning on demand.
6.3. collaboration

The "symmetry of ignorance" is not a problem to be solved but an aspect of the very nature of distributed and collaborative
problem solving where participants come from varied backgrounds and knowledge domains. Collaborative activity must take into
account how different perspectives must be expressed and understood by participants to a degree that allows them to
define and explore the problem and its solutions.
6.4. innovative media to support for these activities?

The innovative media discussed in the paper are the physical objects which are used and tied into the computational setting
that is part of the design process, the action and reflection spaces which allow for the creation of the shared design
and the critique and modification of that design.
7. do you have any ideas how this research could / should be extended (based on your own
knowledge and experience)?

The participants in the design process as discussed in the paper are all co-present. How can this technology and process be managed or used if some of the members are not physically co-present or portions of the team are distributed? In a purely virtual setting, how can the applications of ideas which facilitate distributed dialogue and design and decision making be made possible?

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