CHI 2011 WORKSHOP - HCI, Politics & the City: Engaging Urban Grassroots Movements for Reflection and Action
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
About the Workshop (May 7 - 8, 2011)
Grassroots movements shape our cities, cultures and politics. In this two-day workshop, we invite HCI researchers, activists and artists to engage with the processes, materials, challenges, and goals of grassroots communities in Vancouver, the city hosting CHI’11.
Vancouver has a rich history of bottom-up political movements. Our workshop will facilitate a dialogue around the practical and active engagement of HCI research with grassroots communities. Working together with local organizations, workshop participants will conduct explorations of urban spaces and activist headquarters, participatory design sessions, reflection, critique and creative design of political artifacts. We hope these activities result in concrete design strategies, opportunities for technical interventions and future collaborations in the domain of political computing. Please read more about our workshop themes and visit our call for submissions.
January 14, 2011: Workshop submissions deadline
February 1, 2011: Accepted submissions notified
May 7-8, 2011: Workshop held in Vancouver, Canada (location TBA)
From community gardens, street art and neighborhood watch campaigns, to rallies, protests and large-scale revolutions, bottom-up initiatives enable stakeholders to voice their concerns and enact change. We hope to bring together a diverse group of HCI researchers and practitioners, as well as activists and public artists to explore the unique challenges, goals, materials, and practices that underlie grassroots movements.
We invite submissions using one of the following formats:
Position paper in CHI archival format (maximum 4 pages); or
A photograph, video, website, etc. of a prior project, installation or expression in a public space, along with a brief description. The description (200 words or less) should include the goal of the project (creative expression, political message, etc.), the location and duration of installation; or
A creative proposal for a project (new system, interface, campaign, etc.) or design exercise to engage an activist group in Vancouver. The proposal can focus on an activist organization that might co-organize our workshop (AHA Media, The Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project, Pembina Institute) or another group in Vancouver. The proposal can be any format, including a video, website or write-up (maximum 4 pages) as long as it clearly states the goals of the proposed project.
In addition, participants are asked to submit a brief (100 words or less) personal biography.
We welcome submissions from participants outside the CHI community (artists, activists, etc.) as well as HCI researchers and participants from underrepresented disciplines within HCI (e.g., anthropology, literature, philosophy, political sciences, or the arts).
Submissions should be sent by email to [log in to unmask] by January 14, 2011. Please include the text "CHI 2011 Workshop" in the subject of your email.
The workshop will present a venue for participants, organizers and collaborating organizations to share their knowledge of social and technological practices that surround urban grassroots movements. Our goal is to explore issues associated with designing for—and with—urban grassroots communities. The workshop will focus on the following themes:
Grassroots tools and expressions
What technological and non-technological tools are used to achieve grassroots community goals? How is technology used to coordinate collective social action? What barriers hinder these processes?
How do factors such as lack of funding, changing physical environments and resources affect the role researchers play in helping communities achieve their goals? How can technology enable communities to adapt to changing conditions? What are appropriate methods to engage community members in design processes in the face of changing circumstances?
Failures and risks
At times, grassroots movements face direct opposition from broader political structures, cultural practices and forces in the city. What are the practices through which communities overcome such challenges to enact change? How do groups recover from technical and organizational breakdowns?
What methods are appropriate for designing with activist communities as collaborators? How can researchers establish rapport and trust with grassroots communities? How might technology be designed to strengthen group solidarity— and potentially help recruit new community members?
Security and surveillance
How can researchers reconcile the ethical issues associated with technologies that can be used to violate local or federal laws? What are the underlying privacy and security implications for protecting grassroots participants? How does a post 9-11 world, marked by a culture of suspicion, surveillance and fear impact activist strategies, particularly in regard to publically-placed technical artifacts?
What methods or approaches support decentralized power structures in social change communities? How should designers approach partnering with groups to empower the change they seek while holistically taking into account community members’ perspectives? Could researchers’ involvement with groups—and particular members—unsettle or subvert power structures and community relations?
What are appropriate metrics for evaluation of technologies designed to support grassroots communities? What role should action research play as a productive outcome of political computing research? Should evidence of social change from design interventions be an additional metric of evaluation?
Carl DiSalvo, School of Literature, Communication and Culture, at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US
Tad Hirsch, Intel Experience Insights Lab, US
Stacey Kuznetsov, Carnegie Mellon University, US
Vicki Moulder, The School of Interactive Arts + Technology, Simon Fraiser University, CA
William Odom, Carnegie Mellon University, US
Eric Paulos, Carnegie Mellon University, US
Ron Wakkary, The School of Interactive Arts + Technology, Simon Fraiser University, CA
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