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FDM3001 Interdisciplinary Perspectives in HCI 7.5 credits

This is a reading course on for interaction design, computer science and social science PhD students within HCI. We study how different methods from different disciplines can beapplied to better understand complex social processes and complex individual experiences, and how that in turn could be applied to the design of new technologies. Besides the reading material, the course seminars are an interdisciplinary forum where students from different backgrounds can learn different perspectives from each other. The course has no specified start or end date, and instead runs continuously. Junior and senior researchers, as well as all students registered in the course meet once every month.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FDM3001 (Spring 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

HCI is an interdisciplinary field with contributions from diverse disciplines including interaction design, computer science, and social sciences such as anthropology and sociology. Researchers from different disciplines can work together but often speak different languages and have different aims. There is value in coming together and creating common intellectual ground.

This course aims at exposing HCI researchers to different methods and epistemologies and critically engage with them from different disciplines. We will read books that cover topics as diverse as phenomenology, materiality, ethnography, and artificial intelligence. Often the books will already be interdisciplinary themselves, e.g. an ethnography of computer scientists.

Together, the books cover a wide range of modes of methods for understanding social phenomena and individual experiences related to technology, particularly Internet of Things and AI. The content is chosen to engage critically with the readers, providing different points of view related to practices of making and living with technology.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Discuss critically and engage with concepts and academic writing outside of one’s home disciplinary ground
  • Discuss interdisciplinary methods such as ethnographies, material perspectives and critical methods
  • Formulate interdisciplinary research questions and be able to identify collaborations areas between different disciplines

Course disposition

Students and senior researchers meet to discuss the books in seminars. Each book is discussed by each student, who must present things they liked about the book, things they disliked, and ask a question to the group.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

No information inserted

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


Not retquired


Ethnography of professional practices:

Ocejo, Richard E. Masters of craft: Old jobs in the new urban economy. Princeton University Press, 2017. 

Ethnography of machine learning practice:

Mackenzie, Adrian. Machine learners: archaeology of a data practice. MIT Press, 2017.

Materiality of information:

Dourish, Paul. The stuff of bits: an essay on the materialities of information. MIT Press, 2017.

Interactivity and internet of things:

Janlert, Lars-Erik, and Erik Stolterman. Things that Keep Us Busy: The Elements of Interaction. MIT Press, 2017.

Ethnography of AI researchers:

Forsythe, Diana. Studying those who study us: An anthropologist in the world of artificial intelligence. Stanford University Press, 2001.

Phenomenology of bodily-worn technology:

Kozel, Susan. Closer: performance, technologies, phenomenology. MIT Press, 2007.

Unorthodox social science methods:

Becker, Howard S. Telling about society. University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Critical AI studies:

Eubanks, V. "Automating inequality: how high-tech tools profile, police, and punish the poor."

More books will be read, chosen by a group of senior researchers from KTH and Stockholm University.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • EXA1 - Examination, 7.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

To complete the course, students must have read 5 books and attended actively 5 seminars.

Other requirements for final grade

The grade is Pass/Fail.

To complete the course, students must have read 5 books and attended actively 5 seminars. In addition, one of these two criteria need to be fulfilled:

  • Writing a paper on their research, submitted to some conference or journal, where relevant literature presented in this course is used to substantiate the research
  • Writing a short essay with their views on interdisciplinary ways of knowing and of representing social and individual phenomena, and how it relates to their work

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Kristina Höök

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FDM3001

Offered by

EECS/Media Technology and Interaction Design

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Pedro Sanches (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at EECS/Media Technology and Interaction Design