Exploring Social Justice, Design, and HCI

I’m pleased to announce that a workshop I am co-organizing, titled “Exploring Social Justice, Design, and HCI” has been accepted to ACM SIGCHI 2016. I’m so excited to work with and co-organize this workshop with so many interesting scholars, including Sarah Fox, Mariam Asad, Katherine Lo, Jill Dimond, and Shaowen Bardzell.

The goal of the workshop is to first and foremost build a community of researchers, practitioners, and organizers around the intersection of technological design and social justice. Specifically, we seek to facilitate the conversations necessary to move beyond “design with good intentions” toward design praxis, or reflection and action directed to transform oppressive structures with and by the dispossessed, marginalized, and oppressed. There are examples of projects that contend with individual systems of oppression—­­however, there is presently no unified community or common understanding of how these research projects and activism can hang together. Moreover, there is a clear need to unpack and provide nuanced understandings of HCI projects that promote “good”.

Second, we strive to build knowledge together. In our experience with social justice related projects, there are particular questions that need a broad range of experiences and perspectives to help answer. For example: “How can researchers balance commitments to research and the particular activist project at hand?” or “How can different principles of social justice inform HCI methods such as decolonization or intersectionality?” In particular, we are interested in building knowledge around design methods, researcher reflexivity, and different epistemic approaches toward design. Just as design is often generative and future looking, so too are social justice endeavors. As the late Grace Lee Boggs, a feminist social activist and philosopher, stated, “…we have the power within us to create ourselves and the world anew”.

Here’s more information about the workshop: http://depts.washington.edu/tatlab/socialjustice/

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