“Staged for living”: Negotiating objects and their values over a porous boundary

Eunjeong Cheon, Norman Makoto Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We describe more than 19 months of ethnographic fieldwork with people who have embraced minimalism, a lifestyle movement focused on reducing modern life’s clutter. We found that for minimalists, the home is a central but porous site for making and staging their values around objects. The home’s porous boundary allows minimalists to reinforce their values around objects for others and themselves, but it also necessitates adopting strategies to assert their values when objects—entangled with others’ values—move in and out the boundaries of the home. Drawing from our fieldwork, we introduce the concept of the porous boundary. “Porosity” impels us to consider the coupling of objects with values as we do boundary practices for the home. A porous boundary perspective, we argue, can open new design spaces in the development of novel technologies for the home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Boundary
  • Domestic
  • Home
  • Minimalism
  • Objects
  • Subcultures
  • Value negotiation
  • Value sensitive design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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