Spring 2012

LCC 6650: Project Studio: Designing Community Technologies

Office: TSRB 316A
Office Hours: Thursday 10:00–11:00AM
Email: christopher.ledantec@lcc.gatech.edu

Class Meetings: Thursday, 1:00–3:00PM
Location: TSRB 323

Course Description

How do existing technologies support community organizations and civic action? What would new technologies, systems, and infrastructures that support social and civic action look like? This design studio will actively work with local communities to create new collaborations that explore civic engagement through the development of interactive prototypes, digital media artifacts, and social media platforms. Design and community-focused activities will be buttressed by a review of relevant literature in ubiquitous computing, urban and community informatics, and social theory of the public sphere.

Course Objectives

This project studio will explore the opportunities for designing and deploying mobile and social technologies to foster and support civic engagement and public participation. We will plan and run a short series of workshops within a local community in order to generate conceptual designs and digital artifacts that document different aspects of the community. All of this work will be used as the foundation for continuing work to support community activities and activism, eventually leading to deployed technologies.

Grading

The total grade for the class will be based upon the following factors and weights:

Participation: 30%
Writing Assignments: 30%
Design Prototypes: 20%
Final Presentations: 20%

Participation & Attendance

Studio attendance and participation is mandatory. Participation in class discussion is imperative because it allows you to explore the readings and themes collaboratively, and in the process, discover meanings and issues that you probably would not discover on your own. Participation in class also challenges you to continuously question, refine and articulate your own ideas and interpretations.

This project studio will have a heavy focus on developing and conducting workshops and participatory activities with people outside of class. I will do my best to accomodate everyone’s schedule for fieldwork and trips to different off-campus sites, but in the end, this studio is about community engagement and participatory design and it will be your responsibility to show up for the activities as they develop over the course of the semester.

Missing more than 2 classes will result in a loss of 1 letter grade. Missing more than 3 field visits will also result in the loss of 1 letter grade.

Readings & Texts

There are two required texts for this course:

Callon, M., Lascoumes, P. and Barthe, Y. 2009. Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy. MIT Press.

Dourish, P. and Bell, G. 2011. Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing. The MIT Press.

All other readings will either be accessible via T-Square or online.

Writing Assignments

You will turn in three critical essays over the course of the semester. Each essay should be between 1000 and 1500 words and engage in a meaningful way with the ideas presented in the readings. These essays should connect the readings to the activities we are working on with the community and/or with other texts or topics you may be familiar with—these are not to be simple summaries of the reading assignments, but critical reflections on the readings to motivate new questions and to inform our engagement with our community participants.

Design Prototypes

As the studio develops, we will be developing a number of different design prototypes. The focus of these prototypes is to develop ideas iteratively and critically with each other and with members of the community in which we will be working.

Final Presentations

The last two classes will be dedicated to final presentations where each of you will present the work done during the semester.

Course Schedule

What follows is an outline for the course. As the course progresses, we will likely adjust dates and materials; however, unless specifically stated in studio, you should assume this schedule is current and accurate.

Week 1

January 12

First day of class.

Introductions and administrivia.

Week 2

January 19

Reading:

Bayea, W., Geith, C. and McKeown, C. 2009. Place Making Through Participatory Planning. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 55–67.

Klaebe, H., Adkins, B., Foth, M. and Hearn, G. 2009. Embedding an Ecology Notion in the Social Production of Urban Space. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 179–194.

Veith, M., Schubert, K. and Wolf, V. 2009. Fostering Communities in Urban Multi-Cultural Neighbourhoods: Some Methodological Reflections. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 115–130.

Willis, K.S. and Geelhaar, J. 2009. Information Places: Navigating Interfaces between Physical and Digital Space. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 206–218.

Week 3

January 26

Reading:

Dourish, P. and Bell, G. 2011. Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing. The MIT Press.

Chapters: 1–4.

Week 4

February 2

Reading:

Dourish, P. and Bell, G. 2011. Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing. The MIT Press.

Chapters: 5–9.

Essay #1 due.

Week 5

February 9

Fieldwork Workshop.
 
 

Week 6

February 16

Reading:

Callon, M., Lascoumes, P. and Barthe, Y. 2009. Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy. MIT Press.

Chapters: 1, 5, & 7.

Week 7

February 23

Reading:

Evans-Cowley, J. 2010. Planning in the Real-Time City: The Future of Mobile Technology. Journal of Planning Literature. 25, 2 (Nov. 2010), 136–149.

Larsen, L., Harlan, S.L., Bolin, B., Hackett, E.J., Hope, D., Kirby, A., Nelson, A., Rex, T.R. and Wolf, S. 2012. Bonding and Bridging: Understanding the Relationship between Social Capital and Civic Action. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 24, 1 (Sep. 2012), 64–77.

Mandarano, L., Meenar, M. and Steins, C. 2010. Building Social Capital in the Digital Age of Civic Engagement. Journal of Planning Literature. 25, 2 (Nov. 2010), 123–135.

Quick, K.S. and Feldman, M.S. 2011. Distinguishing Participation and Inclusion. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 31, 3 (Sep. 2011), 271–290.

Week 8

March 1

Workshop planning.

 

Essay #2 due.

Week 9

March 8

Reading:

De Cindio, F., Di Loreto, I. and Peraboni, C. 2009. Moments and Modes for Triggering Civic Participation at the Urban Level. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 97–113.

Paulos, E., Honicky, R. and Ben Hooker 2009. Citizen Science: Enabling Participatory Urbanism. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 414–436.

Satchell, C. 2009. From Social Butterfly to Urban Citizen: The Evolution of Mobile Phone Practice. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 353–365.

Williams, A., Robles, E. and Dourish, P. 2009. Urbane-ing the City: Examinig and Refining the Assumptions Behind Urban Informatics. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 1–20.

Week 10

March 15

Reading:

Calabrese, F., Kloeckl, K. and Ratti, C. 2009. WikiCity: Real-Time Location-Sensitive Tools for the City. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 390–413.

Carroll, J.M. and Ganoe, C.H. 2009. Supporting Community with Location-Sensitive Mobile Applications. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 339–352.

Evans-Cowley, J. 2010. Planning in the age of Facebook: the role of social networking in planning processes. GeoJournal. 75, (2010), 407–420.

Lelieveldt, H. 2004. Helping Citizens Help Themselves
Neighborhood Improvement Programs and the Impact of Social Networks, Trust, and Norms on Neighborhood-Oriented Forms of Participation. Urban Affairs Review. 39, 5 (May. 2004), 531–551.

Week 11

March 22

No class: Spring Break!
 
 

Week 12

March 29

Workshop.

 

Essay #3 due.

Week 13

April 5

No class.
 
 

Week 14

April 12

Workshop.
 
 

Week 15

April 19

Final presentations.
 
 

Week 16

April 26

Final presentations.
 
 

Week 17

May 3

Finals week. No class.
 
 

Optional Readings

Some of these may already be available via the T-Square site as a result of me shifting readings around and changing my mind about things; others should be available through the Library. These should be treated as potentially useful resources to consult as the fieldwork and participatory workshops develop.

Ananny, M. and Strohecker, C. 2009. TexTales: Creating Interactive Forums with Urban Publics. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 68–86.

Beebeejaun, Yasminah, The participation trap: The limitations of participation for ethnic and racial groups, International Planning Studies, 11, 1 (2006), 3-18.

Bråten, S. 1973. Model Monopoly and Communication: Systems Theoretical Notes on Democratization. Acta Sociologica. 16, 2 (1973), 98–107.

Brody, Sam, David Godschalk, and Ray Burby, Mandating Citizen Participation in Plan-Making: Six Strategic Planning Choices, Journal of the American Planning Association, 69, 3 (Summer, 2003), 245-264.

Callahan, Richard, Governance: The Collision of Politics and Cooperation, Public Administration Review, 67, 2 (2007), 290-301.

Chin, John J., The Limits and Potential of Nonprofit Organizations in Participatory Planning: A Case Study of the New York HIV Planning Council, Journal of Urban Affairs, 31, 4 (2009), 431-460.

Cooke, Bill, and Uma Kothari, editors, Participation: The New Tyranny?, Zed Books, 2001.

Evans-Cowley, J. and Griffin, G. Micro-Participation: The Role of Microblogging in Planning. Unpublished Manuscript.

Gonzales, V.M., Kraemer, K.L. and Castro, L.A. 2009. Beyond Safety Concerns: ON the Practical Applications of Urban Neighbourhood Video Cameras. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 131–143.

Gordon, E., Schirra, S. and Hollander, J. 2011. Immersive planning: a conceptual model for designing public participation with new technologies. Environment and Planning B, Planning and Design. 38, 3 (2011), 505–519.

Hollander, Justin B., Intelligent participation: Engaging citizens through a framework of multiple intelligences, Community Development, in press.

Hollander, Justin B., Approaching an ideal: Using technology to apply collaborative rationality to urban planning processes, Planning Practice and Research, in press.

Hollander, Justin B., Keeping control: The paradox of scholarly community-based research in community development, Community Development Journal, 46, 2 (2011), 265-272.

Innes, Judy, and David E. Booher, Reframing Public Participation: Strategies for the 21st Century, Planning Theory and Practice, 5, 4 (2005), 419-436.

Morgan, C. and Polson, D. 2009. The Figmentum Project: Appropriating Information and Communication Technologies to Animate Our Urban Fabric. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 144–157.

Sorensen, A., and L. Sagaris, From Participation to the Right to the City: Democratic place management at the neighbourhood scale in comparative perspective, Planning Practice and Research, 5, 3 (2010), 297-316.

Tamada, D. and Nakanishi, H. 2009. QyoroView: Creating a Large-Scale Street View as User-Generated Content. Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics. M. Foth, ed. Information Science Reference. 244–256.

Weir, Margaret, Jane Rongerude, and Chrisopher Ansell, Collaboration Is Not Enough, Urban Affairs Review, 44, 4 (2009), 455-489.