F-Formations in Cooking Together: A Digital Ethnography Using YouTube

Abstract : Cooking together is an important part of our lives. We cook with others not only to create a meal, but also to enhance our relationships. But how does this role of communal cooking translate into modern society where families and friends are increasingly separated physically and connected primarily online? Motivated by this question we have embraced research into the design of future networked cooking spaces. The first step has been to understand how people use physical space while cooking together. Through a digital ethnography on YouTube videos, we have analyzed the spatial configurations of people, food and technology based on Kendon’s notions of spacing and orientation. Our main contribution is the identification of known F-formations as well as new formations taking place during social cooking. Based on this we suggest that given the presence of formations in the kitchen different from those found during activities that are mainly conversational, simply installing traditional video-conferencing systems in people’s kitchens will not suffice in facilitating the interactions taking place there. Instead, designers need to rethink the positioning and use of cameras and displays.
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Jeni Paay, Jesper Kjeldskov, Mikael Skov, Kenton O’hara. F-Formations in Cooking Together: A Digital Ethnography Using YouTube. 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2013, Cape Town, South Africa. pp.37-54, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-40498-6_3⟩. ⟨hal-01510514⟩

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