We are committed to making research openly accessible, and are providing links to C&T 2021 papers through the ACM OpenTOC service. Use the links in this Open Table of Contents to download papers free of charge and without signing in.

Open Table of Contents for C&T ’21: C&T ’21: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Communities & Technologies – Wicked Problems in the Age of Tech
.

SESSION A: C&T in a Pandemic

COVID-19 Kindness: Patterns of Neighborly Cooperation during a Global Pandemic

  • Jeongwon Jo
  • Tiffany Knearem
  • Chun-Hua Tsai
  • John M. Carroll

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, which began in late 2019, brought unprecedented impact to healthcare, the economy, and social structure, and infrastructures experienced breakdowns in the initial phase. Demands in social and material needs surged, and they could not be met solely by unprepared infrastructures. Although local communities complemented them in previous disasters, physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of the virus undermined human connection, and local communities had to come up with novel ways to provide support. To develop insights from such adaptations of local communities, we explored civic activities for immediate disaster relief in multiple local communities across the United States and interviewed civic initiative organizers and attendees. In this paper, we articulate our findings into pattern language, a schema of reusable solutions for recurring problems. We present two patterns for community-based disaster recovery and discuss the effectiveness of codifying civic activities for disaster relief into patterns.

Critical Discourse Analysis on Media Coverage of COVID-19 Contract Tracing Applications: Case of South Africa

  • Wallace Chigona
  • Phakamani Mavela
  • Sarah Mulaji
  • Shaloam Mutetwa
  • Robin Moyanga
  • Hakunavanhu Ndoro

Media has the power to influence the public’s views on certain issues, ideologies, and innovations. The media affects whether people accept or adopt a practice or innovation. How certain issues are portrayed in the media affects social reality through the kind of language used and how it is presented. Therefore, it is important to assess the discourse of contact-tracing applications, given how the public must adopt them to contain the spread of the coronavirus. This paper investigates the media discourse of contact-tracing applications in South Africa. We used Critical Discourse Analysis to analyse several media articles using Habermas’s Theory of Communicative Action. This involved assessing four validity claims (truth, sincerity, comprehensibility, and legitimacy) to uncover systematic distortions which could affect how the public perceived the Information and Communications Technology artefacts. The analysis showed distortions that could create false impressions on the efficacy of the artefacts; these pushed the notion that would result in South Africans using them more. However, the distortions were overshadowed by the overall evidence from the claims which made a consensus that the media discourse on the application is credible.

Care-full Design Sprints, Online? Addressing Gaps in Cultural Access and Inclusion during Covid-19 with Vulnerable Communities in London and Tokyo

  • Kit Braybrooke
  • Stephanie Janes
  • Chihiro Sato

What does it mean to invite vulnerable communities to the table in times of crisis not just as subjects, but as co-designers, in ways that facilitate nourishing and care-full relations? In this paper, we present the case of an online design sprint involving two groups of diverse participants in London and Tokyo as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded. This modified design sprint model, which we describe as a ’care-full design stroll’, integrated co-design approaches with ethics of care to offer remote cultural experiences aimed at addressing inequalities of access and inclusion faced by the arts and cultural sectors in Japan and the UK. We analyse data from ethnographic observations, interviews and surveys in both nations to illustrate the challenges and opportunities of facilitating design sprints online. Our findings show how care-full co-design, underpinned by concepts of thinking-with and working-alongside, can be facilitated in online-only and/or limited terrains, in ways that nourish cultural organisations and their publics in times of great uncertainty. We conclude with a set of six design principles which provide practical recommendations for the effective facilitation of future care-full co-design sprints for groups working in a variety of settings.

Making Space for Support: An Exploratory Analysis of Pandemic-Response Mutual Aid Platforms

  • Tiffany Knearem
  • Jeongwon Jo
  • Chun-Hua Tsai
  • John M. Carroll

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of unprecedented hardship across the United States. In response, local community members leveraged mutual aid as a form of citizen-based, peer-to-peer care. In this paper, we are interested in teasing out significant design features that support the facilitation of mutual aid on online platforms. To this end, we conducted a scenario-based claims analysis of the two most widely used platforms for mutual aid, based on three primary user groups. Our analysis suggests that design for mutual aid platforms considers features which support request standardization and balanced visibility alongside validation and conversational interaction.

Remote Collaborative Childcare in the Workplace: Sharing Childcare with Colleagues during COVID-19 Emergency

  • Chiara Leonardi
  • Gianluca Schiavo
  • Anna Fasoli
  • Massimo Zancanaro

The COVID-19 emergency and consequent lockdowns left many parents struggling to balance childcare and paid employment, exposing the crucial role of work-life balance policies and practices. As a consequence, co-production initiatives has seen a sharp rise, with the creation of many different grassroots activities, also related to childcare services. Although it is not clear whether these initiatives will continue after the pandemic, they provide an interesting laboratory to investigate digitally mediated co-production of services. This paper presents a case study of a grassroot initiative based on the co-production of childcare services within an organizational context. We report on how this initiative has been adapted during the COVID-19 emergency, discussing how the community of colleagues reacted to the new challenges of the pandemic, and the technological and organizational arrangements that have accompanied such changes. Results from interviews and focus groups revealed the mediating role that digital technology played in the co-production, presenting challenges and opportunities to working parents while dealing with a period of emergency and isolation. These findings suggest implications for organizations to promote remote collaborative childcare practices and support workers wellbeing and work-life balance, considering motivational and social aspects and the role of technology in fostering co-production practices.

SESSION B: Civic Engagement

Nordic Cities Meet Artificial Intelligence: City Officials’ Views on Artificial Intelligence and Citizen Data in Finland

  • Aale Luusua
  • Johanna Ylipulli

In this paper, we explore Finnish city officials’ attitudes, knowledge and relationship towards the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in their cities through topical expert interviews. Our interviewees came from two metropolitan area cities, Helsinki and Espoo, which have taken an active role in attempting to utilize various novel technologies. Through these interviews, we identify and discuss key issues in the infusion of AI into cities. These interviewees were key players in their respective cities’ response to the challenge and opportunity of novel technologies, including AI. As such, while our sampling is small, these interviewees are a good representation of the relevant individuals who hold sway over the thoughts, visions, ideas and challenges that are recognized in their respective organizations. We ask, how do these individuals understand AI and gauged through their views, how are these cities prepared for the increasing and continuous infusion of artificial intelligence technologies in these cities’ agendas, practices and projects?

The Stakeholder Perspective on Using Public Polling Displays for Civic Engagement

  • Jorgos Coenen
  • Paul Biedermann
  • Sandy Claes
  • Andrew Vande Vande Moere

Public polling displays, i.e. interactive interfaces that offer questionnaires in public space, are promised to engage citizens in a dialog with civic stakeholders around local concerns. Although past studies revealed the core factors that impact their usability, little is known about whether civic stakeholders actually consider the deployment of public polling displays to be valuable. We therefore interviewed 12 members of 10 stakeholder organizations who engaged in four different real-world cases, and analyzed all the underlying activities that ranged from planning the deployments to interpreting the final polling results. We thus report on eight key challenges of public polling display deployments, among which: designing polls so that they are responsive, decisive and accessible yet also generate actionable insights, managing the trust of citizens and stakeholder organizations, and facilitating the accurate interpretation of the polling responses. By understanding the process of public polling display deployments from the perspective of civic stakeholders, we inform its continued evolution towards an opportunistic yet trustworthy civic engagement method.

Understanding Failures and Potentials of Argumentation Tools for Public Deliberation

  • Anna De Liddo
  • Rosa Strube

Argument mapping technologies have been historically proposed in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Computer Supported Argument Visualisation (CSAV) research to improve online deliberation practices, but they have hardly overcome issues of non–expert users’ uptake. This paper presents LiteMap a novel online collaborative argument mapping tool which combines web annotation with light-weight argument mapping features to enable visual summarisation and sensemaking of public online debates. Lessons learned from a user study indicate that LiteMap can be effectively used by untrained users to collectively summarize online discussion forum conversations. LiteMap is reported to improve self-reflection on both, group performance and assessment of the quality of an online conversation. The use of the argument mapping tool has also enhanced the mappers’ understanding of the nature of the debated issues. Nonetheless, map creators have reported the need for parallel negotiation channels to disambiguate meaning and manage disagreement while co-creating an argument map.

UnityPhilly: Experiences with a Smartphone App that Facilitates Community Response to Opioid Overdoses

  • Gabriela Marcu
  • Amber Hardin
  • Janna Ataiants
  • Alexis Roth
  • Stephen E. Lankenau
  • David G. Schwartz

This case study presents the use of UnityPhilly, a community-based smartphone intervention that facilitates layperson response to opioid overdoses. Our analysis focuses the information needs of lay responders. In a Philadelphia neighborhood particularly hard hit by the opioid crisis, 112 participants received training on identifying and reversing an overdose with the drug naloxone, and installed the UnityPhilly app on their smartphone. Over the course of one year, participants used the app to report 291 observed overdoses to one another and EMS, and respond to the scene of 74 overdose incidents. Our case study uses thematic analysis of interviews and survey data collected throughout the community trial. Results indicate that basic functionality was easy to use for many, enabling active user engagement and indicating significant potential for this intervention. However, usability issues included communication and information features during incident response, which were not discoverable. Addressing usability issues and information needs could help lay responders as well as overdose victims.

SESSION C: Special Topics

Putting ICT in the Hands of the Seafarers

  • Yushan Pan

This paper proposes ethnographic action research on expanding participation in an ICT project in the maritime domain. Concepts from actor network theory are derived to provide a useful perspective on the description and analysis of the case. By analyzing two workshops, the paper discusses how power relations are balanced in a new heterogeneous network of actors, whose dynamical features align different actants’ interests toward a common sense. The relevance of the findings is discussed, related to how we might think about the role of researchers in the empowerment of marginalized groups. In this paper, I posit that the creation of a research and development culture to extend participation is helpful and relevant to making a well-organized technological ecosystem to the detriment of seafarers’ community well-being.

Impalpable Narratives: How to capture intangible cultural heritage of migrant communities

  • Valentina Nisi
  • Hollie Bostock
  • Vanessa Casario
  • Albert Acedo
  • Nuno Nunes

According to UNESCO, Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) refers to the acts, expressions, and understandings and the associated objects and environments embedded within the ideas and customs of communities and individuals. Sometimes these facets are passed down through generations, but they can also be lost as people’s surrounding circumstances change. This paper investigates how Digital Storytelling (DS) can explore and enable discussions surrounding the various interpretations of ICH, particularly in communities at risk of social exclusion. The authors outline a DS field study, which engaged with ICH notions with first and second-generation migrant participants in Portugal. This process’s objectives were to observe what kinds of stories these methods could elicit and if some ICH form would feature in them. The outcomes were then analyzed to understand if and what sort of ICH is highlighted and how it connects to their present surroundings. These insights were used to inform the requirements of a new interactive DS platform for the authoring and viewing of stories that engage with the subject of ICH.

Skid Row Power Now!: A participatory co-design project to power up digital devices in Skid Row

  • Paulina Lanz
  • Todd Cunningham
  • Hoan Nguyen
  • Pete White
  • François Bar

This case study describes the co-design of Charge ‘n Chill, a charging cart serving houseless residents of Skid Row. This project brought together community activists, Skid Row residents, and university researchers over the course of an 8-week intensive co-design workshop that culminated in the unveiling of a working prototype in the community. Through this case study, we describe the projects’ goals and motivations, as well as the participatory methods which guided our work together. We analyze both our process and its outcome, highlighting lessons we learned and guidelines we offer to others engaged in similar collaborations.

SESSION D: Social Media

How Refugees in South Africa Use Mobile Phones for Social Connectedness

  • Sarah Vuningoma
  • Maria Rosa Lorini
  • Wallace Chigona

ABSTRACT— Refugees struggle to integrate into a host country due to a myriad of challenges. Mobile phones have become one of the main tools which refugees may use to promote their wellbeing and to support their integration into refugee communities. The main objective of this study was to examine how the use of mobile phones by refugees in South Africa contributes to their social connectedness. This research employed a qualitative method and an interpretivist epistemological perspective. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and WhatsApp group chats, and analysed using thematic analysis. The interviewees comprised 27 refugees and the WhatsApp group had 15 members. The findings demonstrate that the refugees face a multitude of obstacles; these included language and culture barriers, the challenge of obtaining legal status, physical separation from their friends and family, and feelings of being judged, insecure, and excluded. Mobile phone usage offers refugees several benefits, especially through their affordances. These include accessing information, pursuing economic and institutional opportunities, enabling communication, and developing linguistic and cultural knowledge of the host country. This study adds to perspectives on utilising mobile phones to achieve social connectedness for two categories of refugees: newcomers and old-timers.

Designing to Stop Live Streaming Cyberbullying: A case study of Twitch Live Streaming Platform

  • Yingfan Zhou
  • Rosta Farzan

Cyberbullying is widespread in online communities. The ability to protect users and platforms from the dangers of cyberbullying has become essential. In this work, we conducted a qualitative study of Twitch community to explore the design elements that can influence cyberbullying behavior and the reaction to it on a live-streaming platform. Our study involved interviewing 11 Twitch streamers and six months of Reddit posts from a Twitch sub-reddit community about Cyberbullying. The results of the study illustrate a number of design themes unique to live streaming platform that can promote or inhibit cyberbullying, including most importantly the information asymmetry between broadcaster and viewers. Based on our analysis results, we propose design guidelines for the live streaming platform to better support their users in intervening cases of cyberbullying.

“We found no violation!”: Twitter’s Violent Threats Policy and Toxicity in Online Discourse

  • Pooja Casula
  • Aditya Anupam
  • Nassim Parvin

Threat moderation on social media has been subject to much public debate and criticism, especially for its broadly permissive approach. In this paper, we focus on Twitter’s Violent Threats policy, highlighting its shortcomings by comparing it to linguistic and legal threat assessment frameworks. Specifically, we foreground the importance of accounting for the lived experiences of harassment—how people perceive and react to a tweet—a measure largely disregarded by Twitter’s Violent Threats policy but a core part of linguistic and legal threat assessment frameworks. To illustrate this, we examine three tweets by drawing upon these frameworks. These tweets showcase the racist, sexist, and abusive language used in threats towards those who have been marginalized. Through our analysis, we highlight how content moderation policies, despite their stated goal of promoting free speech, in effect, work to inhibit it by fostering an online toxic environment that precipitates self-censorship in fear of violence and retaliation. In doing so, we make a case for technology designers and policy makers working in the sphere of content moderation to craft approaches that incorporate the various nuanced dimensions of threat assessment toward a more inclusive and open environment for online discourse. CONTENT WARNING: This paper contains strong and violent language. Please use discretion when reading, printing, or recommending this paper.

Deployment of a community information platform in Santo Antão island: A case study from Cabo Verde

  • Petra Žišt
  • Emily Boaventura
  • Jorge Ramos

We present a case study of a community media project development Alert4You and describe the process of fostering a local community information platform through socio-technical innovation in 4 rural and remote island communities of Santo Antão in Republic of Cabo Verde. A mix of analogous and digital technologies, their affordability and accessibility open up a new space for collaboration in the community, as well as between people, researchers and engineers, that is based on ethnography and participatory design techniques. We describe the process of community information platform co-creation and appropriation in the first stages of research and deployment of community radio stations that foster participation. Participation is an ongoing interaction involving decisions concerning technologies, the actors involved, the production of the content and the institutional framework [2, 5]. We argue that this is influenced by several unpredictable factors and challenges which we aim to describe. The contribution this paper makes is in highlighting challenges in the design and deployment of ICT in rural and remote island communities in Africa.

SESSION E & F: Community and Collaboration

Constructing Well-being Together: Older Adults Engagement in Coproduction Through Volunteering

  • Tiffany Knearem
  • Xiying Wang
  • John M. M. Carroll

Many older adults participate in the local community through volunteering, and oftentimes they not only contribute positively to the community, but also become more attuned to an active and healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, engaging in reciprocal activities, known as coproduction, can facilitate older adults to boost their well-being. In this study, we are interested in understanding how older adults engage in coproduction with one another when volunteering, and how these coproductions support their well-being. We conducted interviews and observations with 19 healthy older adults who are part of a local water monitoring volunteer group. Our findings suggest that older adult’s well-being is supported through four facets of coproduction; a sense of purpose, mutual support, engaged problem solving and co-location enabled physicality. We suggest that designing technologies to support coproduction should consider increasing the visibility of synergy as well as bring awareness to coproduction outcomes.

What’s in a Pattern: A Vocabulary to Articulate Group Routines and Practices

  • Susanne Bødker
  • Henrik Korsgaard
  • Peter Lyle

When people come together as part of a community, oriented towards a collective activity, over an extended period of time, they develop and maintain different routines for the way they are organized, delegate, and carry out their activities. These routines involve a mixture of artifacts and technologies, and are shaped by key common dimensions such as how regulated an activity is, or whether it must follow a particular order. The routines also becomes inherited by new members of the community who use and develop them in their activity. We propose that similar routines, taking place across different communities, with their technologies and dimensions can be expressed and understood as a pattern. We present four patterns as examples that highlight the ways in which communities carry out routines related to organizing and engaging in their joint activity and discuss how such ways of addressing patterns may support the design of new community technologies.

Critical Making with and for Communities: Community-Driven Critical Making Grounded in Practitioners’ Perspectives on Definition and Praxis

  • Regina Sipos
  • Victoria Wenzelmann

Critical making, a method particularly useful around “wicked problems” offers the chance to combine practices of making with critical thinking, to explore processes and topics utilizing technologies and materials and thereby learn or, in grassroots communities, create tangible artefacts which have a societal impact. Many of the growing number of makerspaces globally – though by far not the whole “global assemblage” of makers – foster participatory design for and with their communities to identify, highlight or solve local problems, explicitly or implicitly basing their practices on critical design. The term critical making is utilized in innovative scholarship, to describe design approaches, and DIY citizenship. During the 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies, a workshop was organized by the authors to ground the term in grassroots innovation movements, with a special focus on the Global South, while recognizing the diversity and situatedness of making. Participatory methodologies were used to better understand the terminology of grassroots innovators, to discuss emerging and evolving issues of critical making, participatory design, and maker communities and to further develop the term critical making.

BeamLite: Diminishing Ecological Fractures of Remote Collaboration through Mixed Reality Environments

  • Florian Jasche
  • Jasmin Kirchhübel
  • Thomas Ludwig
  • Peter Tolmie

Developing systems to support remote collaboration usually involves creating new environments in which non-co-located participants produce actions that are, at least in part, accessible to one another. However, this typically fractures the relationship between those actions and the sense of a shared environment, engendering difficulties that can render even the simplest of activities problematic. This becomes more pronounced as the activities become more complex and involve physical artifacts. Although mixed reality seems to offer promising ways of overcoming these troubles, there is still a risk of replicating the fractured ecology problem. We report on an empirical study and the development of a mixed reality prototype called BeamLite that seeks to bypass such issues by providing participants with the illusion of them sharing a single familiar place. Although our evaluation revealed possibilities for evading some troubles associated with artifact-focused remote collaboration, it exposed the need for virtual toolboxes that dynamically support specific work practices and the importance of virtual artifacts embedded within the physical environment to further diminish the sense of ecological fracture.

Seek and Reflect: A Mobile Scavenger Hunt to Develop Community Engagement

  • Tiffany Knearem
  • Jeongwon Jo
  • Xiying Wang
  • John M. M. Carroll

Fostering a sense of connection to a place and building relations between residents are goals of community engagement. Engagement doesn’t have to be serious, rather it can be playful and casual. Periodic local festivals bring communities together and provide context for introducing information and communication technology (ICT) for community engagement. We report on a mobile scavenger hunt app released during a local festival, to understand how it facilitated community engagement. We interviewed 15 app users about their community experiences and how the app supported them to engage with various aspects of the festival and host community. We found that the app augmented community engagement through increased place attachment, an awareness of neighbors, seeking out new experiences, and providing opportunities for reflecting on historic events. We suggest that mobile ICTs for community engagement be entertaining and flexible, and leverage both online and offline activities to get people engaged in their community.

Going Beyond Empowered Design by Scaffolding Inter-community Engagement

  • Edwin Blake
  • Uariaike Mbinge
  • Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
  • Donovan Maasz
  • Colin Stanley
  • Chris Paul Muashekele
  • Gereon Koch Kapuire

When participatory technological design initiatives are focused on a very specific local context it becomes difficult to scale up their deployment to wider or different contexts. We have therefore extended the notion of empowered design and consequent technology appropriations and show that scaffolding, assistance that fades away, is a viable method to facilitate inter-community engagements with technology. This leads to technology appropriation by communities who did not participate in the original design, and they do this independently of the original academic design team. In this paper we report on our project process over an extended period of time. A collaborator and co-author on this paper is an elder from the original community who is acting to extend and adapt the technology with other, distant, communities from the same ethnic group, the ovaHimba. We particularly focus on the evolving role our collaborator took on over a number of field trips, and how our support, the scaffolding, became less and less important. His perspective is shared through translated statements and integrated into the text after our joint paper discussions.

Not in my Backyard!? Lessons from a Community Conflict

  • Srishti Gupta
  • Shipi Dhanorkar
  • John Carroll

We present a case study of a local community debate about a land development proposal. The debate was not amicably resolved. It entrained an encampment, a lawsuit, a local electoral upheaval, and sustained outrage. It was a serious community conflict. Through a set of converging interviews and field visits with key actors from throughout the community, researchers reconstructed what happened, gathered diverse views about how and why it happened, and reviewed the shorter- and longer-term outcomes of the conflict. As can be true in significant conflicts, all participants can be seen as rational and well-intentioned, and some of the outcomes are clearly positive for the community. But the cost was high in terms of civility, trust, and community coherence. Implications include both insights into, and opportunities to re-conceive and redesign, local governance and planning policies, practices, and information support.

SESSION G: Sustainable Communities

Designing Eco-Feedback Systems for Communities: Interrogating a Techno-solutionist Vision for Sustainable Communal Energy

  • Rikke Hagensby Jensen
  • Maurizio Teli
  • Simon Bjerre Jensen
  • Mikkel Gram
  • Mikkel Harboe Sørensen

The notion of establishing energy communities where householders collectively participate in using renewable energy is highly topical. In this paper, we interrogate a design vision of sustainable communal energy developed through a techno-solutionist narrative. The vision is exemplified in a recommendation-based mobile app, the Community Energy Planner app, that provides individual and collective energy feedback on renewable energy actions. To obtain insights into how householders understand and experience embedding such recommended communal energy feedback into domestic energy-consuming practices, we deployed the app with six households for one month. Through a qualitative study, we report on householders’ experiences living with the app on an individual and at a community level. Our findings are presented in four themes, revealing that recommended feedback on individual and collective energy actions is challenging to align with the messiness of domestic life. Finally, we discuss alternative design visions for sustainable communal energy. The main contribution of this paper is twofold: 1) a field deployment study of a techno-solutionist narrative of communal energy facilitated through an app and, 2) a discussion on alternatives to this design vision.

Tackling Algorithmic Transparency in Communal Energy Accounting through Participatory Design

  • Florian Cech

Algorithmic transparency presents a significant challenge to system developers and users of algorithmic systems alike. Framing the problem as a ‘wicked’ one, this study tackles the issue of transparency in the EnerCoach energy accounting tool through presenting a situated ethnography of the algorithmic system and exploring the issues and challenges of model transparency and post-hoc explainability therein. By engaging stakeholders through participatory design methodologies, both a conceptual understanding of the problem and material solutions thereof are developed and evaluated. The findings show the promising potential of participatory design methodologies to elevate users to a ‘critical audience’, and the solutions co-created by the study participants for the challenge of algorithmic transparency. The results also highlight the complexity of the problem: transparency of algorithmic systems must be understood as a multi-facetted and highly contextual, ‘wicked’ problem that requires diverse methodological interventions to reach ‘satisficing’ solutions.

Into the Mine: Wicked Reflections on Decolonial Thinking and Technologies

  • Débora de Castro Leal
  • Ana Maria Bustamante Duarte
  • Max Krüger
  • Angelika Strohmayer

Our global livelihoods are intrinsically tied to mining. The technologies we use, as currently designed, are not possible without the minerals and metals that are an essential part of several of their components. As a result, HCI research and applications are tightly dependent on mining, including the negative environmental and social impacts resulting from it. This paper aims to describe and reflect on this problematic entanglement as a ”wicked cycle.” We present a dilemma faced by communities living near mining sites in the Amazon, which are affected by the ecological impacts of mining and rely on digital technologies made with such mines’ products, including telecommunication technologies, to effectively and successfully advocate for and realise their own local visions of development. We promote a discussion built on concepts from decolonial thinking and critical sustainability. With this paper, we want to create space and necessity to acknowledge our complicity as HCI researchers in this dilemma and propose a series of questions to reflect on our part in these specific, and other, wicked cycles.

Air Partners: community-driven air quality monitoring, mitigation, and collaborative governance.

  • Scott Hersey
  • Eric Gordon

A case study in community-driven air quality science, advocacy, and collaborative governance is presented. A framework of multi-stakeholder planning and execution was employed to identify needs and opportunities, propose work, secure funding, and communicate results to a variety of audiences. Research outputs were primarily designed to support community-based capacity building, advocacy and collaborative governance to promote air health in the near-airport environmental justice communities in Boston, MA.

Co-designing recycling solutions on campus: A case study exploring openness, realism and empowerment of users in a Living Lab

  • Md Tanvir Hasan
  • Annika Wolff
  • Jari Porras

The Living Lab concept is often distinguished from other user-centered and co-innovation approaches by an aspiration to adhere to principles of openness and empowerment of users, with a focus on innovating ideas that are realistic to the real needs of end-users. However, when it comes to implementing a living lab approach it is sometimes unclear how to put these principles into practice. In this case study, we introduce a framework for mapping three living lab principles to co-design stages within a single co-design framework and describe its use in innovating solutions for solid waste management on a university campus as a pre-cursor to scaling up the approach across the city. We present an evaluation of the framework in use against evidence of adherence to the three living lab principles of openness, empowerment of users, and realism. This work may act as a reference point for researchers to start exploring which concrete co-design activities have better impact in achieving living lab aims.

SESSION H: Food and Agriculture

Articulating and Negotiating Boundaries in Urban Farming Communities

  • Maria Normark
  • Anton Poikolainen Rosén
  • Madeleine Bonow

In urban farming communities, enthusiasts adopt urban land and cooperatively develop the space with organic cultivations. This kind of gardening is guided by several ideals, which are part of the farmers’ motivation. However, gardening alone cannot meet the requirements for establishing a community in the city environment. The activities and ideals of the urban farms need to be negotiated and articulated to various stakeholders, including local establishments, other citizens, and city governments. Based on a three-year field study of urban community farms in three countries, we describe how the negotiation and articulation of the organizational, material, and ideological boundaries unfolded both internally and externally in these communities. We provide concrete empirical examples of how such communities develop, what their challenges are, and how they can be supported by technology. We use the lens of civic engagement as a point of departure to situate urban farming and community technologies as a phenomenon. The main contributions of this paper are accounts of the kind of articulation work that volunteer-based civic engagement communities face and design qualities related to this boundary articulation.

Agribuddy: Infrastructuring for Smallholder Farming in Cambodia

  • Hasib Ahsan
  • Lars Rune Christensen
  • Kengo Kitaura

Based on a field study, this paper presents an analysis of the ICT-driven agricultural initiative in Cambodia and shows how it may be understood as infrastructuring for value chain, for microcredit, and for capacity building. The paper considers the relational, connected, emerging, and intentional character of the initiative. In doing so, it outlines an approach to the investigation and conception of infrastructuring for smallholder farming in the Global South.

“This is not a free supermarket”: Reconsidering Queuing at Food-sharing Events

  • Katie Berns
  • Chiara Rossitto
  • Jakob Tholander

This paper addresses the sociotechnical challenges of organising queuing at large scale, face-to-face, food-sharing events. The authors have partnered with a grassroots food-sharing community, FoodSharing Copenhagen (FS-CPH), to reconsider queuing practices at food-sharing events. The results present three “queuing canvases” that illustrate how FS-CPH members envision digitally mediated queuing at food-sharing events. The paper outlines three themes that emerge from this design work: communicating activism through queuing, encountering others through queuing, and transparency in queuing mechanisms. We discuss how the envisioned ideas illustrate novel perspectives on queuing in volunteer-driven settings, while sometimes falling back on accepted norms and common expectations of how queuing should work. To address this, we present a set of sensitivities, for designers and activists alike, to design for queuing in settings where non-monetary sharing is central.

Workshops

Understanding, Promoting, and Designing for Sustainable Appropriation of Technologies by Grassroots Communities. Towards a new wave of technological activism: Sustainable Appropriation of Technologies by Grassroots Communities

  • Maurizio Teli
  • Myriam Lewkowicz
  • Chiara Rossitto
  • Susanne Bødker

Technological development and adoption are characterized by historical waves, reflecting both technical advancements and social transformations in mutually constitutive relation. Today, we are in the middle of another of these waves characterized, for instance, by the widespread focus on AI and other emerging technologies. In this context, activists and designers are constructively appropriating these emerging technologies, thus showing how socio-technical aspects of technological design, development, and implementation, contribute to ongoing transformations of power relations, life conditions, and our collective future.

This workshop aims at bringing together C&T researchers and practitioners interested in understanding, promoting, and designing forms of sustainable appropriation of contemporary technologies by grassroots communities. With sustainable appropriation, we refer to a wider concept of sustainability including ecological and social aspects, as presented for example in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Facilitating Data Inclusion and Empowerment through Arts-Based, Creative and Playful Approaches

  • Natasha Tylosky
  • Priscilla Van Even
  • Sandy Claes
  • Anne Pässilä
  • Antti Knutas
  • Annika Wolff

Big data is a topic of growing importance in the modern world, these days our lives are shaped by the information we consume. As such data literacy is becoming an increasingly crucial skill to have. However, there are barriers of entry to understanding scientific data for the average person. This workshop will explore ways in which we can overcome those barriers, and attempt to engage people with scientific data through creative, playful, and fun approaches. The goal of this workshop is to promote data inclusivity and literacy, and to demystify the concept of data. This workshop will use art-based approaches as a means of communicating data. It will also involve participants making sense of the data themselves through data storytelling techniques. This workshop will also be a chance to reflect on what barriers to data inclusivity exists, and the role that data plays in building empathy towards others and the world around us.

Ethical Future Environments: Smart Thinking about Smart Cities means engaging with its Most Vulnerable

  • Tanja Ertl
  • Claudia Müller
  • Konstantin Aal
  • Volker Wulf
  • Franziska Tachtler
  • Laura Scheepmaker
  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick
  • Nancy Smith
  • Douglas Schuler

Over the past several decades the concept of smart cities has gained a lot of attention amongst researchers, the media, governments, civic groups and citizens. The literature shows that innovations have a more positive impact when they stimulate the development of cities and shape their space for a variety of participants, or when design is participatory. This ensures a non-technocratic approach, i.e., one that builds on the complexity of today’s socio-technical systems and the consideration of their individual actors. Citizen-based approaches or one of the so-called Caring Community are possible answers to this. In this Design Fiction workshop, we take a critical view on the idea of smart cities by broadening participation to stakeholders who are still excluded from its concept and can be described as vulnerable and often marginalized, such as people who are (culturally) diverse (e.g. migrants, refugees, older adults, children, currently and formerly incarcerated people, homeless people and those with low income) or neurodiverse (e.g. people living with mental health challenges as autism or dementia or who suffer from functional impairments), and also animals and nature who are left behind in the whole digitization process. In this regard we will also address topics like sustainability and well-being. One of the expected outcomes of this workshop is the development of a holistic and sustainable smart city concept involving currently excluded stakeholders.