My name is Nick LaLone. I am an Information System oriented researcher interested in balancing the study of socio-technical systems as simultaneously social and technical. I believe that those who design a system, the materials and models used to design the system, and the users who are using it should be integrated into a single research contextual realm of inquiry.
Through play, we can observe the interactions of humans, non-humans, and objects (tangible and intangible) in a concurrent context. By performing an analysis of the same task through multiple modes of input, it is possible to observe how shifting limitations through computational design influences the emergent context. I believe this method has the potential to reduce the impact of user literacy by offering more obtuse, difficult to observe ways that users engage a product.
To date, I have concerned myself with crisis response and emergent groups that form paracrisis as this is an easy way to understand how emergence occurs and how different types of crisis create different kinds of contexts. I have also used Citizen Science or crowdsourcing in the natural sciences as a similar context of emergence. A brief video about this research can be seen to the left.
The meeting of the monolithic entities of command and control and emergent groups in crisis; scientists and the public in citizen science; and designers and users in Human-Computer Interaction all represent the same hierarchically oriented issue - hegemonically distributed social capital that is oriented toward information and technology. This social capital manifested throughout much of the 20th century and was nearly ubiquitous by that century's end. By engaging these issues through the tenets of play, I believe it is possible to not only improve design, but improve use as well.
You can find scholarly work, projects, programs I have developed or taught for, and other websites I have written for below.