Philosophers living with the Tilting Bowl

Ron Wakkary, Doenja Oogjes, Henry W.J. Lin, Sabrina Hauser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on a postphenomenological inquiry of six trained philosophers, who as study participants lived with and reflected on a research product we designed known as the Tilting Bowl: a ceramic bowl that unpredictably but gently tilts multiple times daily. The Tilting Bowl is a counterfactual artifact that is designed specifically for this study as part of a material speculation approach to design research. A postphenomenological inquiry looks to describe and analyze accounts of relationships between humans and technological artifacts, and how each mutually shapes the other through mediations that form the human subjectivity and objectivity of any given situation. This paper contributes an empirical account and analysis of the relations that emerged (background and alterity) and the relativistic views that co-constitute the philosophers, Tilting Bowl, and their specific worlds. The findings demonstrate the relevance of this philosophical framing to fundamentally and broadly understand how people engage digital artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationengage with CHI
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-5620-6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada, Montreal, Canada
Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018
Conference number: 36


Conference2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018
Abbreviated titleCHI 2018
Internet address


  • Co-speculation
  • Material speculation
  • Postphenomenology


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