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Sociality and Skill Sharing in the Garden

by   Hanuma Teja Maddali, et al.
University of Maryland
Association for Computing Machinery

Gardening is an activity that involves a number of dimensions of increasing interest to HCI and CSCW researchers, including recreation, sustainability, and engagement with nature. This paper considers the garden setting in order to understand the role that collaborative and social computing technologies might play for practitioners engaging in outdoor skilled activities. We conducted participant observations with nine experienced gardeners aged 22-71 years. Through this process, we find that gardeners continuously configure their environments to accommodate their preferences for sociality. They share embodied skills and help others attune to sensory information in person, but also influence learning through the features in their garden that are observed by others. This paper provides an understanding of sociality in the garden, highlights skill sharing as a key domain for design in this space, and contributes design considerations for collaborative technologies in outdoor settings.


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