THIRD Lab investigates the phenomenologies of technology and interpersonal relations in everyday life. It is called “third” in a way analogous to the notion of “third place.” We are interested in designs and meanings found at the interstices, not only of home and office, but of technology and experience. We have projects in learning, couples, mediated presence, and micro-coordination.
Our work couples deep thinking about subtle phenomena and the design of new technologies. We approach the design of human-computer interaction with the intent of making the world better for users, not for corporations, nor do we innovate for the sake of innovation. Therefore, what is not included in systems is as important as what is included.
Further, we seek to train designers to be meta-dexterous — comfortable with critical, consulting, research-through-design, entrepreneurial, and participatory approaches.
Deborah Tatar and Steve Harrison have complementary interests in these areas and jointly run the THIRD Lab. THIRD Lab is associated with the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, the Department of Computer Science, Human-Centered Design program, and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.