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Message posted on 28/04/2021

Hybrid International CHItaly 2021: Unified Call for Workshop Papers / 11–13 July 2021 / Bolzano, Italy

Apologies for Cross-Postings

Dear Colleagues,

CHItaly is the Biannual Conference of the Italian SIGCHI Chapter. It is open to both members and non-members. The CHItaly edition of 2021 is the 14th of the series and will be hosted in Bolzano at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (

Several half-day online (or hybrid) workshops will take place in conjunction with this year's CHItaly conference:

July 11th

  • W1) Gameful self-reflection: on HCI and the sustainability discourses
  • W2) Virtual Reality, Inclusion and special language needs (VR Island)
  • W3) Speculative Design for Transurban Futures (TransUrban)
  • W4) Critical Tools for Machine Learning: Figuring, fabulating, situating, diffracting machine learning systems design (CritML)

July 12th

  • W5) Frontiers of Older Humans Computer Interaction
  • W6) The Role of Digitalization in Improving the Quality of Live in Rural (Industrialized) Regions
  • W7) GHItaly21-4th Workshop on Games-Human Interaction
  • W8) Designing for/with/around Nature: Exploring new frontiers of outdoors-related HCI (NatureHCI)
  • W9) Multi-party Interaction in eXtended Reality (MIXR)

The attendance is free of charge for CHItaly main conference attendants and will be subject to a small fee for everyone else (registration fees are available on the CHItaly 2021 website: There are still a few places available to join the rich set of satellite events accompanying CHItaly 2021. The deadline for expression of interest or paper submission for all workshops has been extended. Please check each workshop website for details about the new deadline.

Details for each workshop are given in what follows:

W1) Gameful self-reflection: on HCI and the sustainability discourses

Organizers and contact:

  • Greta Adamo, ITI / LARSyS, Madeira, Portugal (
  • Max Willis, M-ITI and ITI / LARSyS, Madeira, Portugal
  • Leysan Nurgalieva, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

It could be said that sustainability has always been at the center of HCI as a field; the core tenets of HCI, usability and participation are both concerned with securing and maintaining continued, meaningful engagement between customers and publics with the products and services we design. Meanwhile, the concept of sustainability has taken on a more broad ecological meaning, and although a range of HCI academic and industry professionals are focussed on topics such as urban design, circular economy and citizen science that directly address human impacts and environmentally-sensitive quality of life there is much more to this discourse. This workshop invites each and every participant to self-reflect on their previous work, their current directions, and future aims, and ask just how much, or how little our own work, and that of our HCI community is addressing sustainability and sustainable development.

W2) Virtual Reality, Inclusion and special language needs (VR Island)

Organizers and contact:

  • Giulia Staggini, University of Genoa, Italy (contact person:
  • Rita Cersosimo, University of Genoa, Italy

This workshop proposal is the result of a speculation about important issues, both in the academic world and everyday life, such as: accessibility to language learning and technology support. In particular, the reasons leading to this proposal are: enhance motivation and cross-cultural competence in students with SLN (Special Language Needs), e.g: dyslexic students and foreigner learners; overcome language obstacles; enhance multi-channel, multi-media, multi-modality and multisensorial language learning; develop digital literacy and digital awareness. This workshop proposal is based on two main objectives: the first one aims to make attendees familiar with accessible teaching methods; the other one is more practical and focuses on an introduction of IVR in everyday teaching of language.

W3) Speculative Design for Transurban Futures (TransUrban)

Organizers and contact:

  • Mattia Thibault, Tampere University, Finland (
  • Nikoletta Zampeta Legaki, Tampere University, Finland
  • Oğuz “Oz” Buruk, Tampere University, Finland
  • Seda Suman Buruk, independent urban designer, Tampere, Finland
  • Daniel Fernández Galeote, Tampere University, Finland

This workshop aims at expanding the existent research and perspectives on the future of cities by making use of creative, emergent, and participative approaches. The concept of transurbanism emerges from the realisation that the future of humanity and the future of urban spaces cannot be understood is not by tackling them both at the same time. Future cities will be articulated around future citizens, and future citizens will be shaped by their urban environments. In order to investigate a far away transurban future, we will use the tools of speculative design, a well-established practice that uses design as a form of critique and speculation. The participative approach of the workshop will ensure that the different skills, backgrounds and perspectives of the participants will work in synergy to refresh and deepen the way we imagine future cities.

W4) Critical Tools for Machine Learning: Figuring, fabulating, situating, diffracting machine learning systems design (CritML)

Organizers and contact:

  • Goda Klumbytė, University of Kassel, Germany (
  • Claude Draude, University of Kassel, Germany
  • Alex Taylor, University of London, UK

The purpose of the workshop is to experiment with how machine learning systems can be imagined and designed in a more situated, inclusive, contextualized and accountable way in order to reduce the systemic socio-cultural biases and develop more socially responsible frameworks of design. The premise of the work is that while computer science has developed sophisticated technical tools to improve machine learning accuracy and expand application fields, it is facing issues in particular with regards to systemic socio-cultural bias. Critical theories, particularly feminist and postcolonial critical theories, have developed tools to address societal bias and its embeddedness in systems of thought and technology, and to trace how these embeddings give rise to new and reproduce existing hierarchies of power in society. This workshop thus aims to translate insights developed by those critical study fields into approaches in machine learning systems design through an experimental workshop.

W5) Frontiers of Older Humans Computer Interaction

Organizers and contact:

  • Michela Cozza, Mälardalen University, Sweden (
  • Alexander Peine, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Helen Manchester, University of Bristol, UK

The Socio-gerontechnology network brings together scholars from various social science and design disciplines interested in critical studies of ageing and technology. The network started from a joint interest of scholars in Science and Technology Studies – beginning to see ageing as an important field for critical studies of technology – and Ageing Scholars – beginning to see digitisation and technology as important but under-researched elements of ageing and later life. Our aim is to provide critical social science insights into ageing and technology that will lead to better policies and designs for older people in a digitising world. In the spirit of the SG Network and in line with the aim of CHItaly2021, this workshop is designed to attract contributions from diverse geographical areas and disciplines, which share a common interest in studying the relationships between age, ageing and technology design and development.

W6) The Role of Digitalization in Improving the Quality of Live in Rural (Industrialized) Regions

Organizers and contact:

  • David Unbehaun, University of Siegen, Germany (
  • Myriam Lewkowicz, Troyes University of Technology, France
  • Chiara Bassetti, CNR, Italy
  • Volker Wulf, University of Siegen, Germany
  • Mark Ackerman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA
  • Johannes Schädler, University of Siegen, Germany

Rural regions are of central importance to the economic, social and political stability of advanced Western societies. When national states do not offer sufficient quality of life to people living in rural regions liberal democracies tend to destabilize. Authoritarian, populist or even extreme rightist movements gain followers and political influence (see for instance the USA, former East Germany, Tchech Republic, Hungary, or Slovenia). In Central Europe some of the rural areas are at the same time industrialized, typically with old, traditional industries. Compared to metropolitan regions, the relative affordability of land, historically derived competitive advantages (e.g. mines, water conducts) as well as skill sets of the entrepreneurs and the work force lead to the location of rather traditional production-oriented industries. While high tech typically moves to or emerges out of metropolitan centers, old industries can often be found in rural regions. However, we believe that rural (industrialized) regions have very specific needs and opportunities when trying to improve the quality of life by means of innovative digital artefacts.

W7) GHItaly21-4th Workshop on Games-Human Interaction

Organizers and contact:

  • Davide Gadia, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy (
  • Maria De Marsico, Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy
  • Laura Anna Ripamonti, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
  • Dario Maggiorini, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
  • Ilaria Mariani, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

GHItaly21 is the fourth edition of a series of workshops focused on the multifaceted issues related to the design and development of human-game interfaces. This entails multidisciplinary competences and skills, and the final quality of the User eXperience depends on how consistently and smartly they are exploited. As a matter of fact, users’ engagement and satisfaction rely on the wise design and skilled evaluation of the produced (multidimensional) artifacts. This gains even more critical importance since the application of video games has long overcome the borders of amusement, to spur new possibilities for, e.g., continuous healthcare and education. In its first three editions (two of them held in conjunction to previous CHItaly conferences), the GHItaly workshops aimed at constituting a bridge among the many different disciplinary areas involved, trying to decrease the still existing cultural gaps and to establish a common ground and a crossroads for related research.

W8) Designing for/with/around Nature: Exploring new frontiers of outdoors-related HCI (NatureHCI)

Organizers and contact:

  • Eleonora Mencarini, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy (
  • Amon Rapp, University of Torino, University of Trento, Italy
  • Linda Tonolli, University of Trento, Italy
  • Maurizio Teli, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Roberto Cibin, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
  • Vincenzo D’Andrea, University of Trento, Italy
  • Massimo Zancanaro, University of Trento, Italy

In 2020, when most of the world population has experienced limitations to free mobility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, socialisation and outdoor life started to be strongly desired and dreamed. In this workshop, we are interested in exploring HCI issues and works related to the "outdoors", broadly intended as an open-air setting that includes cities, peripheries, rural areas, wild natural environments, etc. In this perspective, the natural context becomes of particular interest, given also the fact that in the last 10 years, part of HCI research has focused on nature, investigating both the activities that people conduct in the natural context and the impact that human activities have on it. In this workshop, we would like to bring together researchers exploring the role of technology in shaping the outdoor experience, with a special focus on the natural environment. By doing so, we aim to question how the different aspects of nature are treated in HCI research, from outdoor life to the epistemological implications of anthropocentrism, and to start a conversation capable of renovating HCI discourses and practices.

W9) Multi-party Interaction in eXtended Reality (MIXR)

Organizers and contact:

  • Maurizio Mancini, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Italy (
  • Giovanna Varni, LTCI, Télécom Paris, Institut polytechnique de Paris, France
  • David Murphy, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland
  • Fabio Pellacini, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Italy
  • Laura Maye, University College Cork, Ireland
  • Patrick O’Toole, University College Cork, Ireland

XR, or eXtended Reality, is an umbrella term that encompasses the areas of AR, VR, and MR, with strong emphasis on immersiveness, multimodality and presence. XR is a multidisciplinary field incorporating subjects such as computer science, psychology, cognitive science, and digital humanities. Within XR, collaborative environments is one of the fastest growing areas, as can be seen by the number of social VR worlds available today. Most of these environments focus on the graphical aspects of the environment, not fully taking advantage of multimodal and multi-party design. Interaction in these environments is largely limited to text chats and, in the case of a few systems, voice interaction. Deeper and more meaningful engagement and interaction in XR can be achieved by leveraging the principles of Social Signal Processing (SSP) and Affective Computing (AC). Due to the simultaneous one-to-one and one-to-many interactions that establish and evolve over time, Multi-party (group) Interaction in XR is a complex process, whose analysis is still an open challenge in SSP/AC. Nowadays, the need for exploring Multi-party Interaction in XR settings is expanding, as people are increasingly meeting remotely through teleconferencing tools for practical reasons (e.g., working and living abroad) or, for example, as a result of the social restrictions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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