Ina Wagner is Professor for Multidisciplinary Systems Design and Computer-Supported Co-operative Work (CSCW) and Head of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Design. She holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Vienna.
She has edited and written numerous books and authored over 100 papers on a variety of technology-related issues, amongst them a feminist perspective in science and technology, ethical and political issues in systems design, computer-support of hospital work, CSCW and networking, and telecommuting as social practice. At the core of her approach to the design of IT systems are ethnographic studies of work, with the aim of bringing awareness of the social organization of work processes to systems design and human-computer interaction. This also engages sociological interest in work and occupations, organization, management and technology.
Several of her projects focus on information technology and its influence on the practice and quality of health care within hospitals (and in particular the work of nurses). She has performed case studies on spatially distributed co-operative work (teleworking) in a variety of companies and settings. Among her current projects are investigating the careers of women in innovative companies in the fields of architecture, multimedia production, financial services, and company law and a study of work practices and skills in software and multimedia companies. All these are forms of work that are increasingly flexible, shared, distributed, and reflexive.
One of her main research interests focuses on the multi-disciplinary design of computer systems for architectural design and planning.As part of this she addresses key issues of the design of Collaborative Virtual Environments, among them how to support mutual awareness and co-operation, and how to use 3D graphics technology for providing the visual and interactional affordances needed in support of professional design work. A particular focus of this research is on understanding the role of different kinds of artefacts for co-operative work, in particular how material and digital artefacts can be combined in complex work environments. Another focus is on how to identify and understand the commonalties of the design disciplines (architecture, industrial design, and software design), in particular the conceptual and creative aspects of designers? work practice and the relevance of aesthetic judgement in design. She has been prime contractor (co-ordinator) of ESPRIT LTR Project DESARTE (The computer-supported design of artefacts and spaces in architecture: landscape architecture) and is continuing this research within IST-2000 ATELIER (Architecture and Technologies for Inspirational Learning Environments).
From 1995 to 1997 she was Chair of the Equal Opportunity Commission of the Austrian Ministry of Science, Research, and Culture. From 1997 to 2000 she was Member of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies. She is member of the currently established Austrian Bioethics Committee.