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Chris Le Dantec

May 7, 2014 04:30PM
Price Center Marshall Room
Abstract:
Designing Publics

This talk addresses how community-based design can be developed to sustain interventions for community engagement and empowerment. I argue that by building atop PD, designers working in community settings are not simply creating end products, but are designing publics: socio-technical articulations that address the different tensions, boundaries, and values present in community contexts. These publics are supported by three pillars used to shape the design space and provide end-points against which to assess or reflect on the designed outcomes: issues are the first pillar and act as a concrete bounding to both the public and the design space—it is through the articulation of issues that individuals form into publics; attachments describe the relationships that develop between the public and the definitional issues—attachments cary bi-direction relations as “dependencies on” or “commitments to” different resources, constituencies, or desired outcomes; finally infrastructuring describes the design work of integrating socio-technical responses to issues by way of expressing, forming, and altering the attachments contained within the public. I will explore the framing of issues, attachments, and infrastructuring through several different examples derived from past and present community-based projects.

Bio:

Christopher Le Dantec is an Assistant Professor in the Digital Media Program in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research is focused on integrating theoretical, empirical, and design-based investigations of mobile and social technologies in support of community and civic engagement. With an interest in digital disparities and social justice, he examines alternate constraints on mobile computing in urban life, information technology and social institutions, and the use of participatory design for articulating social issues and constructing publics.

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