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Creating Friction: Infrastructuring Civic Engagement in Everyday Life @ Aarhus 2015: Critical Alternatives

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"Creating Friction: Infrastructuring Civic Engagement in Everyday Life" by Matthias Korn and Amy Voida

Published paper presented at the 5th Decennial Aarhus Conference: Critical Alternatives, August 17-21, Aarhus, Denmark.

Abstract below, full paper available for download at: http://mkorn.binaervarianz.de/pub/aarhus2015.pdf

Abstract:
This paper introduces the theoretical lens of the everyday to intersect and extend the emerging bodies of research on contestational design and infrastructures of civic engagement. Our analysis of social theories of everyday life suggests a design space that distinguishes ‘privileged moments’ of civic engagement from a more holistic understanding of the everyday as ‘product-residue.’ We analyze various efforts that researchers have undertaken to design infrastructures of civic engagement along two axes: the everyday-ness of the engagement fostered (from ‘privileged moments’ to ‘product-residue’) and the underlying paradigm of political participation (from consensus to contestation). Our analysis reveals the dearth and promise of infrastructures that create friction—provoking contestation through use that is embedded in the everyday life of citizens. Ultimately, this paper is a call to action for designers to create friction.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Creating Friction: Infrastructuring Civic Engagement in Everyday Life @ Aarhus 2015: Critical Alternatives

  1. 1. Creating Friction: Infrastructuring Civic Engagement in Everyday Life Matthias Korn & Amy Voida Indiana University, IUPUI Indiana University, IUPUI University of Colorado, Boulder @matsch_o0
  2. 2. Civic Engagement in HCI (Voida et al. 2014, Taylor et al. 2012, Schroeter, Foth, & Satchell 2012, Korn & Bødker 2012, Hirsch 2009) Supporting civic engagement from within or without the political mainstream
  3. 3. Dual Challenges of Infrastructures for Civic Engagement a. provoking people to engage in the first place b. invisible, ready-at-hand character of infrastructure • create complacency, stasis, and disempowerment (Mainwaring, Chang, & Anderson 2004)
  4. 4. Friction • Tsing (2005): friction produces movement • Hassenzahl et al. (2011, 2015): ‘aesthetics of friction’ Keymoment Forget Me Not
  5. 5. Framework for the Infrastructuring of Civic Engagement Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness
  6. 6. Everydayness Everydayness PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue
  7. 7. Paradigms of Political Participation Paradigms of Political Participation Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique
  8. 8. Framework for the Infrastructuring of Civic Engagement Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue
  9. 9. Everydayness Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue
  10. 10. Focus on Everyday Life • depoliticization of everyday life • Henri Lefebvre (1901 – 1991), French Marxist philosopher and sociologist “Not only does the citizen become a mere inhabitant, but the inhabitant is reduced to a user, restricted to demanding the efficient operation of public services.” (Lefebvre 1981) by Verhoeff, Bert / Anefo
  11. 11. Confinement to “Privileged Moments” • special occasions or punctuated feedback cycles (e.g., elections, public hearings, etc.) • with citizens as users, “the state is of interest almost exclusively to professionals, specialists in ‘political science.’” (Lefebvre 1981) • invitation to participate only when needed and deemed appropriate
  12. 12. ‘Product-Residue’ Perspective Product: • the conjunction and rhythms that render meaning across fragmented activities • “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” Residue: • the space in between fragmented activities • e.g., fleeting moments of transition
  13. 13. Everydayness Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue
  14. 14. Paradigms of Political Participation Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue
  15. 15. Consensus and Convenience • deliberative democracy (Rawls 1971, 1993, Habermas 1996) • deliberation of diverging viewpoints toward a rational compromise • aims: • improve mechanisms of governance • increase participation of the citizenry • efficiency, accountability, inclusion, equitable access • e-democracy: translating traditional democratic activities into online tools for civic participation by Wolfram HukeHarvard Gazette
  16. 16. Contestation and Critique • agonistic pluralism (Mouffe 2000, 2013): • democracy as a condition of forever- ongoing contestation and ‘dissensus’ • a multiplicity of voices forever contentious and never fully resolved through mere rationality • contestational or adversarial design (Hirsch 2008, DiSalvo 2012) Mouffe, WMin.ac.uk
  17. 17. Approaches to Designing for Civic Engagement Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue Disruption Situated Participation Deliberation Friction
  18. 18. Approaches to Designing for Civic Engagement Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue Disruption Situated Participation Friction Deliberation
  19. 19. • e-deliberation, e-planning, e-policymaking, e-voting, etc. Deliberation (De Cindio, De Marco, & Ripamonti 2007, UrbanSim 2009 / Borning et al. 2005, Danaher ELECTronic 1242 by Aaron Gustafson)
  20. 20. Approaches to Designing for Civic Engagement Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue DisruptionDeliberation FrictionSituated Participation
  21. 21. • embedding civic engagement into everyday life • temporal, social, and spatial embedding Situated Participation (Liquid Feedback 2009, Borchorst, Bødker, & Zander 2009, Bond et al. 2012, Korn & Bødker 2012, @ChiOnwurah / Vlachokyriakos 2014, Candy Chang 2010, Korn 2013, Hosio et al. 2012)
  22. 22. Approaches to Designing for Civic Engagement Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue Situated Participation Deliberation Friction Disruption
  23. 23. • ‘privileged moments’ of dissensus, protest, and civic disobedience • technologies for demonstrations, occupations of public squares, and protest actions at sites of interest Disruption (Hirsch 2009, Wulf et al. 2013, Oriana Eliçabe/Enmedio.info 2012, V&A London 2014/15)
  24. 24. Approaches to Designing for Civic Engagement Paradigms of Political Participation Everydayness Consensus/convenience Contestation/critique PrivilegedmomentsProduct-residue Disruption Situated Participation Deliberation Friction
  25. 25. Friction • overlays for government-issues ID cards to temporarily black out information (Clement et al. 2012) • alternative and oppositional media, bypassing government control (Clement et al. 2012, Independent Media Center 2015)
  26. 26. Four Principles of Creating Friction 1. Designs for friction take a position or a stance. 2. Designs for friction want to cause trouble. 3. Designs for friction are naïve and inferior. 4. Designs for friction are not absolute. adapted from Hassenzahl et al. (2011, 2015)
  27. 27. Four Principles of Creating Friction 1. Designs for friction take a position or a stance. 2. Designs for friction want to cause trouble. 3. Designs for friction are naïve and inferior. 4. Designs for friction are not absolute. adapted from Hassenzahl et al. (2011, 2015)
  28. 28. Four Principles of Creating Friction 1. Designs for friction take a position or a stance. 2. Designs for friction want to cause trouble. 3. Designs for friction are naïve and inferior. 4. Designs for friction are not absolute. adapted from Hassenzahl et al. (2011, 2015)
  29. 29. Four Principles of Creating Friction 1. Designs for friction take a position or a stance. 2. Designs for friction want to cause trouble. 3. Designs for friction are naïve and inferior. 4. Designs for friction are not absolute. adapted from Hassenzahl et al. (2011, 2015)
  30. 30. Design Strategies for Creating Friction • infrastructuring through intervention (Clement et al. 2012, Irani & Silberman 2013) • infrastructuring by creating alternatives (Hirsch 2009a, 2009b) • infrastructuring by making gaps visible (Chalmers & Galani 2004, Mainwaring, Chang, & Anderson 2004) • infrastructuring by using trace data for critique (Khovanskaya et al. 2013, Weise et al. 2012)
  31. 31. Design Strategies for Creating Friction • infrastructuring through intervention (Clement et al. 2012, Irani & Silberman 2013) • infrastructuring by creating alternatives (Hirsch 2009a, 2009b) • infrastructuring by making gaps visible (Chalmers & Galani 2004, Mainwaring, Chang, & Anderson 2004) • infrastructuring by using trace data for critique (Khovanskaya et al. 2013, Weise et al. 2012)
  32. 32. Design Strategies for Creating Friction • infrastructuring through intervention (Clement et al. 2012, Irani & Silberman 2013) • infrastructuring by creating alternatives (Hirsch 2009a, 2009b) • infrastructuring by making gaps visible (Chalmers & Galani 2004, Mainwaring, Chang, & Anderson 2004) • infrastructuring by using trace data for critique (Khovanskaya et al. 2013, Weise et al. 2012)
  33. 33. Design Strategies for Creating Friction • infrastructuring through intervention (Clement et al. 2012, Irani & Silberman 2013) • infrastructuring by creating alternatives (Hirsch 2009a, 2009b) • infrastructuring by making gaps visible (Chalmers & Galani 2004, Mainwaring, Chang, & Anderson 2004) • infrastructuring by using trace data for critique (Khovanskaya et al. 2013, Weise et al. 2012)
  34. 34. Conclusion / Contributions • design space for the infrastructuring of civic engagement • two dimensions • everydayness and paradigms of political participation • four approaches to designing for civic engagement • deliberation, situated participation, disruption, friction • unpacking opportunities to design for friction
  35. 35. Creating Friction: Infrastructuring Civic Engagement in Everyday Life Matthias Korn & Amy Voida Indiana University, IUPUI Indiana University, IUPUI University of Colorado, Boulder korn@iupui.edu amy.voida@colorado.edu @matsch_o0

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