Seminar at UL: ‘Work Around – Practices around Technology, Space and the Ever-changing Nature of Organisational Life’

The second event of the 4th NWL International Seminar Series is approaching. In this seminar we will be hosting Dr. Mark Perry from Brunel University (UK), who will be presenting the paper ‘Work Around – Practices around Technology, Space and the Ever-changing Nature of Organisational Life’.

Dr. Perry is an interdisciplinary researcher with interests spanning cognitive science, computing and social science and ‘user studies’. He was originally trained as a psychologist (BA (Hons.), Cardiff University), a cognitive scientist (MSc, Cardiff), and an interdisciplinary PhD (Brunel), having worked at a variety of places along the way, including Goldsmiths College (London), Hewlet-Packard Research Labs (Bristol), Stanford University (USA), and the Appliance Studio (Bristol). For the past few years, most of his research has revolved around the use of mobile information and communications technology, and in the use and design of ubiquitous/pervasive computing and networked information appliances.

All are welcome to attend. Attendance is open and free, but places are limited therefore prior registration is required.

When: Fri 30th September (2.30-4pm)

Where: UL (room TBC)


Almost all of us are aware of what mobile and remote working technologies do and how to operate them. Exceptions to our level of skill tend to lie at the margins of device interaction or functionality, and not usually in their operation. To most of us, they are practically unremarkable, ordinary, everyday parts of our lives that extend beyond the workplace and into home life and our leisure activities. Why then are they still considered as worthy of investigation beyond tweaking their technical imperfections? The answer of course lies in how these technologies are used and offer the opportunity to change what we do. Google, Facebook, YouTube, those great colossuses in the fabric of our contemporary lives are little more than huge databases that are accessible over the web, and, whilst eminently desirable, the wirelessly enabled laptop and smartphone that are increasingly a part of our daily accessories or even attire are not so functionally different to the grey desktop boxes of the workaday world that we use in the office. My argument here is that these are no longer extraordinary technologies, rather, they can be utilised in ways that change our ordinary actions. We can almost effortlessly locate content, or work in or across previously inaccessible locations. The world, of course, is not unchanged by these new practices, and other people and organisations have adapted their own behaviours and protocols in response to this, giving rise to a recursive process of adaptations that are produced and reproduced by those actions. In this presentation, we will explore the ways that people and organisations adapt to these technologies in the context of the knowledge economy in which we no longer work to produce physical goods.

The 4th NWL International Seminar Series: ‘Work practices, Nomadicity and ICT Mediation’ is organised by Fabiano Pinatti and Dr. Luigina Ciolfi on behalf of the Nomadic Work/Life in the Knowledge Economy project team ( The seminars are co-sponsored by the Interaction Design Centre – Department of Computer Science & Information Systems and by the Department of Sociology of the University of Limerick.

For information on the other seminars of the series, abstracts of the talks and registration at the seminars, please contact


We would like to acknowledge and thank our main funder, ISSP and the Higher Education Authority under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, Cycle 4.

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