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Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design
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Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Activity theory holds that the human mind is the product of our interaction with people and artifacts in the context of everyday activity. Acting with Technology makes the case for activity theory as a basis for understanding our relationship with technology. Victor Kaptelinin and Bonnie Nardi describe activity theory's principles, history, relationship to other theoretica ...more
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published October 6th 2006 by MIT Press (MA) (first published October 1st 2006)
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Brent Wilson
This book is intended as an intro to socio-historical activity theory (CHAT). I would say "intro" at a doctoral level - haven't yet seen how master's students would really benefit. What I found most helpful about the book was

- placing CHAT in context with related theories - ethnomethodology, phenomenology, etc.

- differentiating different CHAT theorists (Engestrom, Leontiev, etc.

- understanding the critical role of intentional agency in CHAT processes, in contrast to some other frameworks like a
Fernando Telles
The authors do a good job in comparing Actor-Network Theory, Heidegger's Phenomenology and Distributed Cognition to Activity Theory. But they seem to have a very superficial knowledge of the contributions of Actor-Network Theory to their field. In most of the book, they are trying to rescue human intentionality from the theoretical conceptualizations left on the field by Actor-Network Theory, missing most of the points that explain the principle of generalized symmetry that they seem so decided ...more
Susanna Nocchi
A very good book for whoever needs a framework for analysing Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and computer-mediated activities.
Activity Theory is a useful framework and this book clearly explains the main tenets of the theory and its current and future issues.
Kgalyen Galyen
If activity theory confuses you, and you want a more recent take by respected people in the field of human-computer interaction and interaction design, get this book. It will help you apply the framework to multiple technological contexts.
Oct 26, 2007 lilly added it
We're reading this in my activity theory reading group with Bonnie Nardi.
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Beyond the Desktop Metaphor: Designing Integrated Digital Work Environments Affordances and Design Activity Theory in HCI: Fundamentals and Reflections Perspectives on the Object of Activity: Number 1, 2005 Activity Theory in HCI: Fundamentals and Reflections

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“Therefore, according to activity theory, the ultimate cause behind human activities is needs. Needs” 0 likes
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