The transformation of the public sphere through computing requires new ways of thinking about both the public sphere and computing. The work we do in digital civics brings community and municipal partners together with researchers in order to better understand a wide range of civic encounters and to design human-centered computing systems. We use participatory design and action research approaches to support activists confronting social injustice, community groups building social and political capital, and municipal officials working to build relations between local government and their urban constituents.
The white-collar workplace was transformed by computing. Now, through the growing accessibility and utility of ubiquitous computing, sensing technologies, and automation, the blue-collar workplace is undergoing a similar transformation. This research is focused on understanding the particular needs of the blue-collar workforce so that we can design and deploy computing technologies that support worker autonomy and advance the priorities of skilled labor through an on-going technological transformation.
Cycle Atlanta is a partnership with the City of Atlanta to broaden participation in the planning of bicycle infrastructure through the use of smartphones and citizen sensing. We are exploring new tools and platforms for environmental and experiential sensing to enable novel forms of participatory digital democracy.
Technology is all around us, and while we consider new and novel uses for mobile and ubiquitous computing it is also important to consider how these kinds of technologies affect members of our society who may not have access to them. The aim of this work is to develop technological innovations to be deployed to support the urban homeless and the institutions that support them.
Values play an integral role in human-centered computing: they inform the kinds of trade-offs the make when considering different solutions; they create a basis for assessing how a particular artifact or system may fit into how people live, work, and play; and they are an important part of negotiating a common understanding in collaborative design settings. Work in this project area focuses on the various ways values become expressed through the design of interactive computing systems.
The methods, tools, and theoretical underpinnings we have effect how and what we design. The aim of this work is to better understand design practice and to develop strategies and new modes of engaging both designers and consumers in a discourse to explore and develop situated responses to real-world conditions.