Designing Collective Action for Social Sustainability
Docent Lecture by Associate Professor Rob Comber, division of Mediatechnology and Interaction Design
Time: Fri 2020-12-18 13.00
Lecturer: Associate Professor Rob Comber
The time to act for global environmental and social sustainability is now. Doing so requires not only individual action, but even more so collective action. This is a notion that implies shared values, goals, spaces, and tools - working together to live better together. Such collective action is now urgent, in the face of apparent division in society, disproportionate distribution of resources against responsibilities, and the existential threat to human and non-human life in the global climate crisis. This Docent lecture will outline the design, deployments and analyses of digital technologies in the pursuit of collective goals for a sustainable society, with an emphasis on social sustainability. This design work grapples with the configuration of democratic and societal practices in public health, urban planning, and science and education. Reflecting on the work of design as a socio-technical practice, I will examine three design instances where we begin to build collective action through bringing together diverse voices through material artefacts, including digital devices. These artefacts, mundane in their technical underpinnings – a mobile application, a database, and a media archive – are configured within complex social, legal, historical and political relations to create opportunities for citizen-driven practices of making. I will highlight how practices of making knowledge, making place, and making representations add to the power of collective actions, and respond to design challenges to design valuable futures, to design ourselves out, and to create sustainable social and technical development.
The lecture will be held via Zoom, password 942676.