The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference for the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). CHI is generally considered the most prestigious in the field of HCI and attracts thousands of international attendees annually. This flagship event is an exciting experience for delegates as it draws together both experienced and next generation leaders in the field. The work presented at CHI has had a lasting and widespread impact on society, industry and government. In 2021, our theme encourages authors and delegates to make waves as they feature the latest discoveries and advances in HCI and shake up the existing state of affairs.
Each year many different people attend CHI, from the first time student author to the seasoned industry delegate. Different people, with different interests, experience and expectations all come together at CHI to share and learn from one another. People approach CHI from different trajectories due to different research interests, varying educational perspectives or diverse industry needs. As a result, we can think of CHI as a platform to combine strengths of different people from different perspectives.
Both our conference location and theme have inspired different aspects of our conference logo. The primary wave shape is inspired by the woodblock print "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by the Japanese artist Hokusai. This depicts a scene off the coast of Kanagawa, what is now the present-day city of Yokohama. The different trajectories people approach CHI from are represented as seven different coloured strands which come together at the base of the wave. The motion of the wave, represents the energy of CHI which can mix and blend together the various strands. So while a delegate might approach CHI on one trajectory (e.g. as a first time author on the red strand) by the time they leave, they should be infused with many of the other perspectives, areas and aspects of the CHI programme and community. As such, CHI 2021 is an opportunity to combine and mix the strengths of different people, different areas and different perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in HCI.
The city of Yokohama, which is about 20 miles southwest of Tokyo, are our hosts for CHI 2021. This is the first time CHI will be held in Japan and only the second time in Asia. As Japan's "first port of call", Yokohama is situated on a deepwater harbour. The port at Yokohama has been a gateway to the world since the Meiji Restoration. Japanese people have long experienced foreign cultures through this gateway, and simultaneously have been trying to introduce their own culture to foreign lands. This active cultural exchange continues to this day. Our wave logo reminds us of the connection between the land and the sea of Japan and that many people are coming from overseas to attend CHI.
By making waves we hope to leave a significant and lasting impression on everyone who attends CHI by combining our respective strengths. We look forward to welcoming you to Yokohama in May of 2021.
By Yoshifumi Kitamura and Aaron Quigley, CHI 2021 General Chairs