I’m excited to be partnering with Danya Glabau of Implosion Labs to offer a day-and-a-half workshop on Design & Society!
“Design is a dominant paradigm for building and understanding the modern world. The language of design is especially prominent in the digital realm, where its assumptions influence how we interact with the world and with each other. But how has design come to matter? Why does it seem like such an important tool in our current cultural moment? What norms and assumptions inform the design of everyday technologies via design schools like UX? And what are the political implications of interface design?”
We will learn about critical and ethnographic approaches to design, especially digital design, through readings, discussion, and hands-on exercises.
Jordan Kraemer Singularity & Co, 18 Bridge St. in DUMBO
More than thirty years ago, feminist scholar Cynthia Cockburn surveyed the dearth of women in engineering and technology jobs in the early 1980s. Despite the women’s movement of the 1970s and the massive influx of women into the workforce, women remained distressingly underrepresented in tech fields—a situation that has changed remarkably little since. Grand narratives of progress often presume that inequality will disappear as science and technology drive society forward toward some egalitarian future. But as Cockburn noted, technology is as much a product of unequal, gendered social relations as it is salvation from them: “Our industrial technology also has the imprint and the limitations that come of being both the social property and one of the formative processes of men… The masculinity of technology, men’s proprietorial grasp of machinery, has to be seen as a product of social rather than biological history.” Feminist theory provides alternative lenses to examine questions of power, selfhood, materiality, embodiment, and sentiment in relation to emerging technologies, calling attention to fundamental inequalities that mutually shape technology and social life. In this course, we will read the work of scholars such as Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Lucy Suchman, Judy Wacjman, Katherine Hayles, Susan Stryker, and others to consider how gender (in concert with race, class, sexuality, and disability) structures technologies such as artificial life, digital worlds, infrastructure, data, and bodily technologies.
There will be no class on November 24 due to Thanksgiving
Held Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9:30pm Starts November 17, 2015 Lasts 4 sessions over 5 weeks Costs 315
Thanks to everyone on our panel Accidentally By Design: Producing Difference and Inequality Through Technological Designs at this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in D.C. If you missed it, you can peruse the Storified version of tweets with the hashtag #bydesign that my co-organizer Angela VandenBroek created for us — thanks Angela!