Show & Tell #6 (YOU IS NOW)

We are holding our sixth show & tell together with IxDA Munich, the Munich Chapter of the Interaction Design Association. Alexis from IxDA came up with a great speaker who is going to give an overview on how digital technologies interfere with our biological needs. See the full description of the talk "Circadian Shelves" by Josh Berson below. In addition there will be some news from the Quantified Self community and lots of great networking with the advanced users, startups and interaction design professionals. Looking forward to seeing you at our location sponsor YOU IS NOW, the incubator or the Scout24-Group.


Josh Berson - Circadian Shelves

A profound shift is underway in how we experience circadian time, the rhythmic alternation of activity and rest over the course of the twenty-four-hour day. At the center of it is pervasive computing.

Increasingly, the rhythms of human activity are shaped less by environmental cues like the presence or absence of daylight and more by rhythms in the data streams that occupy an ever greater share of our attention. Partly as a result, circadian rhythms research is flourishing.

In this talk we’ll explore circadian selfhood in its cognitive, cultural, and environmental dimensions. We’ll examine the historical context for the dramatic rise of computing power and for the scientific categories by which we understand biological rhythms. We’ll look at how social scientists can make sense of these phenomena using an ensemble of methods linking the history and philosophy of science, cultural, linguistic and cognitive anthropology, and the philosophy of embodied cognition. We’ll discuss emerging practices that exemplify circadian selfhood, among them chronotherapeutics (bright-light therapy, clinically managed sleep deprivation) and polyphasic sleep. And we’ll consider case studies from two emerging consumer product categories: personal photosimulation ( and personal actigraphy (e.g.,

As the buzz surrounding Lark, Zeo, FitBit, SleepTracker, and their competitors demonstrates, interaction designers cannot afford to ignore the design challenges of mitigating the novel physiological stresses of pervasive computing. We’re talking about users’ body temperatures, corticosteroid levels, and slow-wave sleep patterns. Design does not get more personal than this. Is there a way to respond to these challenges without becoming complicit in the “medicalization of sleep” and the ever-more-intrusive presence of commercial life in our bodies?


About the Speaker

Josh Berson is an anthropologist of interfaces and material flows: between body and world, animal and human, machine and living thing, subject and institution. He holds a PhD in the history and anthropology of science, technology, and medicine and linguistic anthropology. He has taught computer science at Harvard (1996–8) and the anthropology of international development at the University of Pennsylvania (2004–9). From 2010 to 2012, Josh was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin. In 2012–13 Josh is a fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich.

Co-Organizer: IxDA Munich

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  • Mathias Picker

    Great talk, great people, food for thought!

    February 12, 2013

  • Christoph Zinser

    Auch ich schaffe es nicht ...

    February 11, 2013

  • Bettina Redl

    Mein Magen macht mir leider gerade einen Strich durch die Rechnung. Viel Spaß und bis zum nächsten mal!

    February 11, 2013

  • Julian Pye

    Bin, leider zu erkältet, freu mich aber auf das nächste Mal!

    February 11, 2013

  • Christian Aigner

    Würde gerne kommen schaffs aber wegen Arbeit nicht :-(

    February 11, 2013

  • Lena Hoeck

    An alle die mit dem Auto kommen: Wir haben in der Scout24 Tiefgarage für euch Plätze reserviert! Einfach an der Schranke sagen, dass ihr zu YOU IS NOW/Scout24 wollt, dann kommt ihr rein und auch wieder raus ;-)

    February 11, 2013

  • Christoph Zinser


    January 26, 2013

Our Sponsors

  • Noom

    QS Germany Sponsor. Warm thanks to the folks from Noom!

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