CHI 2013 Workshop

Technology increasingly plays a role in the experience of pregnancy, mothering and motherhood. For example, technology has enabled women to have a wider set of choices around when they have a child and enabled the pregnancy and growth of the baby to be tracked to a far greater extent than previously possible. A whole host of technology is available off-the-shelf to support mothers. Applications relating to a wide range of biological functions now exist: recording the emotional roller coaster of tracking ovulation when trying for a baby, immortalising the momentous moment of discovering pregnancy, charting the growth of the baby and the changes in one’s own body through gestation, monitoring contractions during labour, mastering the art of breast feeding, recording the baby’s eating and sleeping cycles. As a result it is becoming increasingly urgent to create a deep and rich understanding of the role of motherhood and the experience of pregnancy and mothering to address how digital interactions can support women in this role.

Over recent years a small selection of research within HCI has explored the values, needs and experiences of pregnant women, mothers, and motherhood. We propose this workshop to bring together a community of researchers, practitioners, designers and entrepreneurs from a diverse range of disciplines under the common theme of “motherhood”. This workshop will establish motherhood within HCI as a distinct research agenda, build networks across a range of disciplines and communities, understand the design space and opportunities that are available, share lessons learned from methodologies and processes already adopted, as well as promote cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing. We see this workshop as an excellent opportunity to embrace the rich diversity of motherhood, explore the lens that “motherhood” offers to understandings of concepts such as care, and highlight research suggesting the pivotal role of mothers and the higher burden of care carried by most.

Download our CHI 2013 Motherhood and HCI extended abstract here.