FP3: Long-Term Trajectories

Contributions to this theme take a long view to question the endurance of a distinct technological research agenda within PD and to propose how computation might serve the exploration of socio-technical alternatives; to use a focus on critical interrogation of design practices in relation to infra-structuring to reinvigorate how we imagine social and political possibilities; and to contribute to our understanding of how to create relationships that promote longevity of innovations which engage communities through uses of ICT.

Thursday, 18. August, 11.00 – 12.15
Peter Bøgh Andersen Auditorium, Nygaard
Chair: Tuck Leong, University of Technology Sydney

Computational Alternatives in Participatory Design – Putting the T back in Socio-Technical Research

Henrik Korsgaard, Aarhus University, Denmark
Clemens Nylandsted Klokmose, Aarhus University, Denmark
Susanne Bødker, Aarhus University, Denmark

Abstract: This paper takes its starting point in a concern that Participatory Design (PD) and PD research have lost interest in innovating and reshaping technologies. We examine decades of projects and the current state of affairs and propose computational alternatives as a means of questioning the state of affairs and reintroducing a technical research interest into PD. Computational alternatives are used to systematically question the technological status quo and peak into a possible future; they are material manifestations of our focus and curiosity and can aid us in inquiring into possible socio-technical alternatives. Ultimately we focus on whether (and how) it is possible to maintain a technological research agenda in participatory and user-centered design, without giving up on pursuit of strong conceptual and theoretical insights.

“…it’s your project, but it’s not necessarily your work…”: Infrastructuring, Situatedness, and Designing Relational Practice

Shana Agid, Parsons School of Design, United States

Abstract: This paper builds on trajectories in PD that attend to designers’ situatedness within the broader systemic contexts in which they work. It proposes (re)considering infrastructuring, understood as a range of approaches to designing socio-material systems, through attention to designers’ locations, as one way to imagine what is at stake when designing with people. The paper draws upon a reflective analysis of long-term design research with a social justice organization. The local context of the group and the larger socio-political-historical context of systems of policing with which the group contends shaped our understandings of what was necessary, possible and strategic. Working at the intersections of these infrastructures, in turn, shaped how we designed together. I propose “relational practice” as a framework for critically engaging designers’ dynamic positions in infrastructuring and argue that how we design relational practices, and how we understand them, is critical for how we approach infrastructuring as on-going work toward shared, if complex and difficult to imagine, social and political possibilities.

Supporting Community Needs for Rural Water Management through Community-Based Co-Design

Fiona Ssozi-Mugarura, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Edwin Blake, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Ulrike Rivett, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract: We set out to support three rural communities in Uganda to manage their water supplies using a locally relevant and fit-for-use technological intervention developed with the Community-Based Co-design (CBCD) method. This participatory and inclusive approach allowed us to introduce Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to communities that are untrained and inexperienced in technology design. We describe the intervention and identify research learnings for CBCD. Our design experience with the communities highlights the barriers and enablers of using the CBCD method with rural users. We conclude with reflections on the use of intermediaries and the issue of reciprocity in community-based ICT for development research.