From users to citizens: Some thoughts on designing for polity and civics

Foth, Marcus, Tomitsch, Martin, Satchell, Christine, & Haeusler, M. Hank (2015) From users to citizens: Some thoughts on designing for polity and civics. In OzCHI '15 Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Australian Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction, ACM, Melbourne, VIC, pp. 623-633.

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Abstract

This paper presents an essay aimed at prompting broad discussion crucial in keeping the interaction design discourse fresh, critical, and in motion. We trace the changing role of people who have advanced from consumers to producers, from stationary office workers to mobile urban nomads, from passive members of the plebs to active instigators of change. Yet, interaction designers often still refer to them only as ‘users.’ We follow some of the historic developments from the information superhighway to the smart city in order to provide the backdrop in front of which we critically analyse three core areas. First, the issue of echo chambers and filter bubbles in social media results in a political polarisation that jeopardises the formation of a functioning public sphere. Second, pretty lights and colourful façades in media architecture are increasingly making way for situated installations and interventions fostering community engagement. And third, civic activism is often reduced to forms of slacktivism. We synthesise our discussion to propose ‘citizen-ability’ as an alternative goal for interaction designers to aspire to in order to create new polities and civics for a better quality of life.

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ID Code: 88937
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: civic engagement, community engagement, polity, civics, media architecture, activism, smart cities, smart citizen, civic intelligence, participation, urban informatics
DOI: 10.1145/2838739.2838769
ISBN: 9781450336734
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Mobile Technologies (080502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Ubiquitous Computing (080504)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Social and Community Informatics (080709)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architecture not elsewhere classified (120199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Digital and Interaction Design (120304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning) (160404)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Urban Sociology and Community Studies (160810)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Interactive Media (190205)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 ACM
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2015 23:42
Last Modified: 24 Dec 2015 02:18

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