Paul Dourish

From in front: and behind:

About Me

I'm trained as a computer scientist, although increasingly over the last few years my work has strayed into sociological territory. In particular, I am concerned with the relationship between social theories and systems design. The focus for this work is the domains of interactive systems (HCI) and collaborative systems (CSCW).

One focus of my work has been on "accounts". Accounts are a re-reading of computationally reflective architectures, which are computational architectures that provide systems with representations of their own activity. In reading reflective representations as accounts, we see them as accounts which systems offer of their own activity, as a basis for resourceful, improvised action. Critically, this notion of systems explaining their activity through the structure of that activity draws on models of human social action from a branch of sociology called ethnomethodology.

I live in San Francisco, which I would probably recommend to you, except then maybe you'd move here and fill up all my favourite bars and coffee shops. Previous homes have been Cambridge (England), Edinburgh and Glasgow (both in Scotland).

About Me and Pliant

I worked with the other Pliable folk at Apple from July 1996 until March 1997; I had also worked with Austin when we were both at Xerox (he at PARC, and I at EuroPARC) in years gone by; Brian was also there at the time, and we all worked together on the early emergence of the accounts work.

About Me Elsewhere

Currently I'm a senior research scientist at Apple Research Labs, in the newly-formed Knowledge Management Laboratory. I can be reached as, where my personal web pages are hosted.