Colloquium: Daniela Rosner (Washington)

Design as Inquiry: Exploring Digital Traces with Tactile and Tactical Media

In this talk, I'll describe a research approach that relies on technology design not as an end in itself but as a way to understand the intricacies of social life, from amateur engineering practices to modes of community engagement. To illustrate this approach I'll focus on a study of walking by drawing with Trace, a mobile mapping application that generates walking routes based on digital sketches people create, annotate and send to others without a map. We designed Trace to explore the possibility of emphasizing guided wandering over precise, destination-oriented navigation. Studies of sixteen people's use of Trace over roughly one week reveal how walkers find Trace both delightful and disorienting, highlighting moments of surprise, frustration, and identification with GIS routing algorithms. I show how design interventions offer possibilities for understanding the form and character algorithmic living and how it might be done differently.

Daniela K. Rosner is an Assistant Professor of Human-Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington where she co-directs the Tactile and Tactical Design Lab (TAT lab). Through fieldwork and design, her research reveals and creates surprising connections between technology development and handwork. She has taught interaction design at the California College of the Arts (CCA) and worked in exhibition design at the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum. She holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley's School of Information, a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago, and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Daniela has been a regular columnist for Interactions Magazine, a bimonthly publication of ACM SIGCHI, and now serves as an editor for a forum called Design as Inquiry.

UTA 5.522

1:15pm to 2:30pm


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