WORKSHOP: Who’s Got the Remote? Design Research with Families, Couples and Other Interdependent Groups
Thursday, August 26th (morning session)
led by Paula Wellings
The technology-enabled experiences we create are predominantly solitary experiences: laptops, mobile phones, mp3 players and PDAs are all optimized for the individual, or at least for one person at a time. Email, user accounts, mobile phone numbers, and even social networks presume that people engage with a system in isolation.
In the messy, real world though, no person is truly an island. Throughout our lives, we work to share, negotiate, collaborate, and enjoy each other, face-to-face, in the world. We are embedded in relationships with partners, children, parents, close friends, and co-workers. These relationships strongly influence our behaviors, motivations, and aspirations, and yet these connection are often ignored or little understood in the design process. At present time we know more about the future of social engagement in disembodied networks than what social engagement might look like with the people closest to us.
We are also living at a time of environmental crisis where making a personalized device for every single person, is not all that sustainable, or desirable. We have a responsibility and opportunity to disrupt our possible trajectory towards a distopian Wall-E like existence.
This workshop provides a starting place for better understanding and designing for people in their natural state: embedded in interdependent groups such as couples, families, and project teams.
We will be exploring what it looks like to do design research with interdependent groups, considering theories and methods to help structure field work and analysis The end goal of this interactive workshop is to support the creation of design-actionable accounts of the motivations, behaviors and meaning-making of groups, and of the individuals that bring these groups into being.