Keynote Speaker

“From HCI and Human-Building Interaction to Citizen-Environment Interaction

Dr. rer.nat. Dr. phil. Norbert A. Streitz, Scientific Director, Smart Future Initiative


This keynote, addressing several conferences at MCCSIS 2023, presents the grand challenges people are confronted with when interacting with technology in today’s smart environments. Originally, the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) investigated the interaction of individual humans with one (desktop) computer and then smart phones. Human-Building Interaction (HBI) represents the shift from laptops and smartphones to smart artifacts and smart materials embedded in the environment, but also a shift in terms of scale and context, ranging from individual devices for personal activities to multiple devices used in group activities and social interactions. This is followed by the progression from smart rooms (Roomware) to smart or cooperative buildings and their extension to smart urban environments as, e.g., smart cities and airports. The trend towards more comprehensive situations requires a corresponding shift from an individual user-centred design to a multiple people and multiple devices-based citizen-centred approach investigating Citizen-Environment Interaction (CEI) for designing smart urban environments.

At the same time, this development raises fundamental questions about smart services exploiting data collected by sensors via an IoT infrastructure and controlled by software based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. It results in importunate automation, lack of transparency and privacy infringements. Humans are increasingly removed from being the ‘operator’ and thus in control of their environment and decisions. Our proposal is to redefine this ‘Smart-Everything’ Paradigm via a citizen-centred and participatory design approach, keeping the human in the loop and considering the relevant design trade-offs. Application examples are taken from the domain of connected smart cities, urban spies, and automated driving as well as rethinking ‘smart’ islands. Our goal is to move beyond ‘smart-only’ cities towards Humane, Sociable, Cooperative, Self-aware Hybrid Cities fostering human-technology symbiosis and urban sustainability guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.


Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Ph.D. in physics, Ph.D. in cognitive science) is a Senior Scientist and Strategic Advisor with more than 35 years of experience in ICT. Founder and Scientific Director of the Smart Future Initiative launched in 2009. Before, Norbert held different positions as Deputy Director and Division Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute IPSI in Darmstadt, Germany, for more than 20 years and was a Lecturer at the Computer Science Department at Technical University Darmstadt. This was preceeded by being an Assistant Professor at the Technical University Aachen (RWTH). At different times of his career, he was a post-doc research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, a visiting scholar at Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, and at the Intelligent Systems Lab, MITI, Tsukuba Science City, Japan. Norbert has published/co-edited 36 books/proceedings and authored/coauthored about 170 peer-reviewed papers. His research covers a wide range of areas: Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Experience Design, Hypertext/Hypermedia, CSCW, Ubiquitous Computing, Ambient Intelligence, Privacy by Design, Industry 4.0, Autonomous Driving, Hybrid Smart Cities, Smart Airports, Smart Islands. Norbert was a PI of many projects funded by the European Commission as well as industry. He was/is on Advisory Boards and Evaluation Committees of research institutes and on Editorial Boards of relevant journals. Norbert is an elected member of the CHI Academy, the prestigious ACM SIGCHI award honoring his substantial contributions shaping the field of human-computer interaction. (