« OneSmallStep: a MySpace LuvStory | Main | Book Review »

June 05, 2006

Designing the Not-Quite-Yet


Call for Participation

Call for Participation in a workshop--Designing the Not-Quite-Yet: Ideas and Methods for engaging the Public in a Digital Future of their Choice--on 14th September, during HCI2006.

How do we broaden the constituency of design? How do we help people engage with social and political transformations engendered by technology? How do we enable the appropriation of an invasive, yet intangible, 'internet of things’? This workshop will explore the potential of innovative methods, such as performance, public art, games, etc, to: * deliver methods that help people do 'design thinking' * widen the design franchise * base the design of future technologies more closely on society's needs and desires.

The day is intended to open discussion on how to engage more people in design in the context of an increasingly digital world – one in which designed information spaces surround the ordinary spaces we occupy. Ambient intelligence, pervasive computing, augmented reality, smart buildings and clothes, identity tagging, … the digital future is promised as connectivity 'anytime, anywhere', as seamless flows of information between environments, objects and people. More than ever this will see social practices and institutions embedded in technology.

The social challenges arising from these developments have been noted, but Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) specialists have not fully engaged with the question of how to design for them. These challenges are particularly interesting because they require users to think like designers or submit to being run by the software surrounding them. This workshop asks how we can create the competent and empowered 'end-designer'.

We would expect methods drawn from the arts, education and science/social science to be relevant and we invite you to bring them and share them at this event running during HCI2006. So if you work to involve, engage or educate the public on the potential of digital technology – especially in innovative or experiential ways – or you'd like to know more about how to do it, sign up. The emphasis will be on sharing practical work, not formal presentations.

A particular feature of this workshop is the participation of a group of artists commissioned by Space (a London media arts and education charity) under the umbrella of looking at the potential of identity tagging technologies, such as RFID, and communicating this potential to the public. They will be demonstrating their work on public engagement to the wider conference during the afternoon. There will also be a chance for other participants to showcase their methods alongside these interactive exhibits. So, it is a chance to take HCI in a truly interdisciplinary direction and feed this into the conference as a whole.

Please note that attending this workshop is a little different from most conference workshops as it is running alongside the conference itself and parts of the day will see the two events merging. The approximate schedule is as follows:

Meet 9.30 for brief introductions, before heading on to:

Alan Newell of the University of Dundee and Maggie Morgan of Foxtrot Theatre HCI2006 keynote on using performance to elicit design requirements.

~11am – 1pm: Workshop participants share experience and practice.

~2pm – 3.30: A panel-type session will provide an opportunity for leading experiential learning tasters and exhibit artworks/demos – this will be open to the general conference to attend. Workshop participants will lead this (mostly by prior agreement) and it will be a chance to experience the methods talked of.

~4pm – 5.30 Participants regroup, review progress and look to the future.


It is possible to sign up just for the workshop by paying the workshop registration fee (this will include entrance to the conference sessions mentioned above). If you are at the conference, you may sign up for the workshop without cost by sending an expression of interest as outlined below. (If you do sign up, you will be expected to attend all of it.)

Expression of interest:

In all cases, to participate please send Ann Light (annl[at]dcs.qmul.ac.uk) a description of your work/interest up to a maximum of 3 pages by 9th June. Please include any practical activities you would like to lead in the session and whether you are interested in demonstrating/describing these to a wider conference group. You will be notified of our decision by 16th June, in time for the end of early-bird registration (23rd June).

Workshop organisers:

Ann Light is a member of the Interaction, Media and Communication Group at Queen Mary University of London and co-runs a campaign called "Transform-Ed" (www.transform-ed.org) on bridging the divide in society's comprehension of the potential of digital networks. She is chair of trustees for a digital media charity (www.fiankoma.org) and edits UsabilityNews (www.usabilitynews.com) on a part-time basis. She was once a drama teacher and still uses this background in her interpretation of 'interaction design'.

Pat Healey leads the Interaction, Media and Communication Group and Augmented Human Interaction Laboratory at QMUL. He is interested in the potential of digital technologies to provide uniquely flexible media which transform human communication. Pat's research applies models of human communication - drawn mainly from psychology and sociology - to understanding these processes.

Gini Simpson is the head of SPACE Media Arts, based in Hackney, East London. SPACE Media Arts undertakes large scale electronic arts projects linking artists and communities and provides open access to new technology in East London. This has included working with award winning artists, street gangs from Bow and patients at a London psychiatric hospital. Previous to this, Gini worked for DDB Advertising and Magic Lantern productions iTV. She has produced art events nationally and internationally, including the production of the first New Media marquee and field at Glastonbury Festival.

Posted by jo at June 5, 2006 10:22 AM