In the Authentic User Experience Lab (AUX Lab) at Indiana University Bloomington, we integrate empirical and humanistic methods to do research with subcultures. We publish in human-computer interaction (HCI) and other related venues (e.g., CHI, DIS, CSCW, ECSCW, ICWSM). Take a look at our projects and publications.

By subverting the now, subcultures become harbingers for the future practices and values of mainstream culture. Contemporary trends (e.g., in art) and movements (e.g., feminism) can be traced back to subcultures. Lying on the fringes of society, subcultures creatively reinforce and communicate their distinctive traditions—–their authenticity—in a sensor-rich and socially-networked society.

We characterize this relationship of technology with subcultures, design systems to support their notion of authenticity, and fashion new frameworks and methods to inform designs that help people strive for meaningful lives. We subscribe to the idea that society as a whole can learn a great deal about how to live from subcultures, the delightful, diverse microcosms they are.

We are always looking for new collaborators. If you are interested in doing research with us, please contact Professor Norman Makoto Su.


November 2020: Norman, Xinru Page, Brian Smith, and Mainack Mondal have received a People’s Expectations and Experiences with Digital Privacy research award from Facebook. Drawing from film theory, we’ll produce short online videos that lead to awareness and control over user profiling.

October 2020: Norman will be heading the “human-centered AI pillar” to plan a new Artificial Intelligence Institute for Rural Health, Wellness, and Resilience, lead by David Crandall, Selma Sabanovic, Katie Siek, and David Wild.

June 2020: Congratulations to Dr. EunJeong Cheon for successfully defending her dissertation, “Making Values Explicit in the Design of Emerging Technologies.” Special thanks to her committee members: Selma Sabanovic, Erik Stolterman Bergqvist, Mark Ackerman, and Jessica Lester. EunJeong will be joining the CS faculty at Aalborg University as a tenure-track assistant professor. We wish her the best!

May 2020: Congrats to Lucy Lippman and Varsha Rana on finishing their CEWiT REU-W project. They did a wonderful job analyzing Facebook posts with R around socio-economic and cultural conflict on the Instant Pot page. Check out their poster!

February 2020: Accepted CSCW 2020 paper describing invisible/visible sanctioning strategies with respect to online social media activity led by Yasmeen Rashidi with Apu Kapadia, Christena Nippert-Eng, and Norman up in publications.

September 2019: Congrats to Majdah on passing her quals and to EunJeong on passing her topic defense!

Stephen and Norman have a CSCW paper studying Games Done Quick, an enormously successful streamed charity event showcasing the speedrunning subculture. One of its central arguments is that viewers donate not only to celebrate speedrunning acrobatics but to also enjoy a sort of simulated living room where the social, causal dynamics and origins of speedrunners is played out. Kudos to Rosemary for presenting her work at 4S in the “Digital Innovations and the Future(s) of Agriculture” session.

March 2019: Some brilliant collaborations coming to fruition! Three papers with Amanda, Shaowen, Jeff, and Norman: two at CHI on designing for the lived experience of menopause and one TOCHI paper on anticipating sexual intimacy with robots. At CHI we also have a paper on the challenges of being a caster—the heart of eSports—with Lucas, Stephen, and Norman. At DIS, a paper with EunJeong, Stephen, Selma, and Norman using futuristic autobiographies in a collaborative design session and another with Rosemary, Lynn, and Norman on company visions of data-driven farming.

December 2018: Norman is honored to have received the NSF CAREER award for “Integrating a Data-Driven Approach with Technologies for Sharing Rural Knowledge and Values”! We’re excited to push forward an agenda to design with rural subcultures in America.

November 2018: Our CHI19 workshop, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Exploring the Intersection of Philosophy and HCI, was accepted.