Building Technology from the Human Out - Calm Technology, Humanity, and our Collective Future

We've heard about human universals -- the need for belonging and for food, shelter and a challenge. But we do not have the same perspective on technology. For most of us, technology is a fast-moving target, and something that seems to rapidly change. We often forget how quickly the shininess of the new can fade. We can be left with technology that is difficult to support and distracting from everyday life.

Our new normal is filled with information that competes for our attention. What is needed? What is not? We cannot interact with our everyday life in the same way we interact with a desktop computer. How can we implement the least amount of technology to get the job done?

The terms calm computing and calm technology were coined in 1995 by PARC Researchers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating. Calm technology describes a state of technological maturity where a user’s primary task is not computing, but being human. The idea behind Calm Technology is to have smarter people, not things. Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.

A7978368099?profile=RESIZE_180x180mber Case studies the interaction between humans and computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think, act, and understand their worlds.

She is an internationally recognized design advocate and speaker, a researcher at the Institute for the Future, and the author of Calm Technology and Designing With Sound. She spent two years as a fellow at MIT’s Center for Civic Media and Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

Named one of Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 and Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology, she was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2012 and received the Claude Shannon Innovation Award from Bell Labs. She was the co-founder and CEO of Geoloqi, a location-based software company acquired by Esri. You can follow her work on Medium: and Twitter:

We're hosting Amber Case as part of World Interaction Design Day 2020 on CULTURE and SUSTAINABILITY. Find more information here: