Living Bibliography


Lucy Suchman

Lucy Suchman is Professor of Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. Before coming to Lancaster, she held the positions of Principal Scientist and manager of the Work Practice and Technology area at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, obtaining her BA in 1972, MA in 1977 and a Doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology in 1984. Suchman’s book,”Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-machine Communication” (1987), provided intellectual foundations for the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). She challenged common assumptions behind the design of interactive systems with a cogent anthropological argument that human action is constantly constructed and reconstructed from dynamic interactions with the material and social worlds. The theory of situated cognition emphasizes the importance of the environment as an integral part of the cognitive process. She has made fundamental contributions to ethnographic analysis, conversational analysis and Participatory Design techniques for the development of interactive computer systems.

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