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Human-Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This 2007 book considers how agencies are currently figured at the human-machine interface, and how they might be imaginatively and materially reconfigured. Contrary to the apparent enlivening of objects promised by the sciences of the artificial, the author proposes that the rhetorics and practices of those sciences work to obscure the performative nature of both persons ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Cambridge University Press (first published December 1st 2006)
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Tugrul Yuksel
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was part of our coursework in Masters at Goldsmiths. Certainly, it is one of THE books on the HMI and how the technological discourse projects the politics of everyday life into the vision of the future. The book certainly brings some criticism to dichotomic worldview that creates the boundaries between the human and the machine.
Nick Doty
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I got distracted by reading the numerous prefaces and introductions, which made me frustrated by the time I got to the text. But the chapters I did get to were interesting.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was a demanding read, but highly worthwhile. The theory that Suchman lays out in the opening chapters is useful and excellently presented; the empirical section was fascinating and helped me to concretely apply some of the design principles that I had gleaned from The Design of Everyday Things. The intersection of very different disciplines featured here was challenging and productive. And in terms of structure, I wish that all second editions were like this: the introduction and ...more
Aaron Chu
Aug 14, 2015 rated it liked it
The original text can be a bit dense, and there could be a lot of research and catching up if one is not already familiar with the philosophical concepts and examples the text references. That said, this book represents Shuman's argument well in the way that its content, concepts, philosophy as well as the examples and the documentations of Schman own participatory observation are drawn from many fields and diciplines, which, I think, is considered to be what Suchman calls socialmaterials. Also ...more
Jan 14, 2014 added it
Weaker than expected.
Suchman's original observation was clever, but lacks good support. The additions in this new version do nothing to strengthen the original results, which is a real pity.
The book left me with the feeling that Suchman got lucky, was in the right place at the right time, and then did not really take the idea and run with it properly. This is more of a "catch the ball then get rid of it as soon as possible" book. Suchman got a clever idea, observed it (seemingly without good
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: inf, feminist
Yeah, I'm really going to have to give this book two stars. The original text (her dissertation project, if I remember correctly) was interesting, though perhaps more aptly titled "People Struggling with Copiers." The additions had some interesting discussions but seemed pretty disjoint from the original text, so I would almost have preferred two separate books, one reprint of the original perhaps with the footnotes added and one about cyborg feminism and the interface. I'm being a bit unfair, I ...more
Eric Cartier
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of the densest texts I've ever encountered. I have an entirely new understanding of how humans engage with each other and machines in the world, however. Synthesizing my ideas about Suchman's book for a paper for Dr. Doty's "Understanding and Serving Users" these next two weeks is going to be migraine-inducing work. Eeeep!!
Nov 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Ugh, her style! But the portion of the book from the original edition is worthwhile.
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