SummerPIT 2018

Join the crowd! Fuel and charge! Dig deep!

Participatory IT research is the study of how people experience, understand, design, and shape information technology as part of their lived experience. Aarhus University’s interdisciplinary research centre for Participatory IT establishes a new foundation for this area of research.

The centre extends the Scandinavian participatory design tradition, which has historically focused on involving people in the introduction of technology to their workplaces. However, during the recent decades, information technology has become an integrated element of almost all parts of people’s everyday lives, including leisure, civic activity, art, and culture, thereby establishing new forms of participation and social practices. The pervasiveness of information technology in human life poses new challenges for the way participation occurs, is supported, and understood.

Accordingly, the centre poses the fundamental question of what participation currently means, and how it may be supported by IT, today and in the future.

PIT will host SummerPIT in August to bring together international researchers from across PIT-related research areas, local researchers, and PhD students.

SummerPIT has, in previous years, been a lively place where we had a lot of fruitful discussions and where people had a chance to meet and discuss. We hope to continue this spirit this year, and encourage you to stay as long as you possibly can of the period.

The thematic schedule is as follows:

Aug 27 Time and tech

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This section of SummerPIT-2018 will address the temporal qualities of the design processes, use of IT as well as the relationship between the two from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The standard design process models are commonly organized around particular periods of time (e.g. phases) as well as the distinction between design and use, but research has only a vague temporal orientation and awareness. However, on a macro-level, discussions of infrastructuring provide one way of addressing temporal development, as well as the relationship between design and use. Technology designed to support appropriation and tailoring is a mesa-level issue, as are questions of sustainability of insights and technological solutions across projects over time. On a micro-level the moment to moment actions at design workshops is another relevant issue to consider, for instance with respect to how participants’ ideas and arguments at a particular point in the process affect the subsequent part of the design process, and in turn the design and use of the artifact. Tools and methods for tracing the emergence and transformation of design idea throughout the design process is another temporal research area.

Aug 28 (Dis)Empowering technologies

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Values, ethics, inclusivity and diversity is increasingly important in academia across

disciplines, especially working with various communities in participatory design and creative practices. We propose to address paradoxes of (dis)empowerment in the context of participatory design and computational thinking, in which the changes of technology empower individuals as information becomes more accessible and things become easier to design, build and program. However, there are still individuals, certain ethnic groups and communities tend to be ignored and less participation is found in decision-making processes and technology usage. Additionally, values are embedded in technology, why designers of new technologies have the potential to either strengthen or undermine these values. The theme “(Dis)empowering Technologies” examines ethical considerations and human values embedded in technical systems or devices and in working with technologies across research, with particular contexts and users, design education and open source platforms.

Aug 29 Public Good(s) - Private Data

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The idea for the panel is to explore the changing ways in which public goods are procured in an increasingly data-driven mode of governance and management. At the same time, the notion of the public good itself is also changing due to the enhanced ways of monitoring urban space, facilitating innovation and participating in public affairs. There is a growing chasm between the demands of publics and public officials to obtain data for management and governance while more and more data is owned privately but originates from individual people’s private interactions. Data subjects, in turn, are becoming aware of the value of their data for the public good and seek new ways of contributing to common causes, while retaining data ownership and demanding ethical ways of data  usage.

You will receive more information regarding social activities and other events as we get closer.