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The Deafening Silence of Public Hearings

Christine Hegel, Alix Gerber, Luke Cantarella

The Deafening Silence of Public Hearings invites participants to embody civic engagement through simulation, disruption, and rehearsal.  Congregating in a space designed to heighten the uneven power dynamics of a typical New York City public hearing, participants will have the opportunity to play with communicating powerfully in this environment. This is a prototype for future use as part of an ongoing project of engaged anthropology with a community of canners (waste pickers) in Brooklyn, NY, and builds on the goals of an emergent “Canner Advocacy Task Force.”  This piece suggests that participatory approaches to strengthening civic engagement can benefit from a phenomenological perspective that addresses the operations and felt immediacies of bodies entangled in structural power dynamics. 


Talking Frontiers. A scenography to draw, tell and write stories about what separates and unites us

Natalia Perez Orrego, Andrea Carolina Cuenca

Talking Frontiers is situated action that will be realize in San José neighborhood at urban area of Manizales-Colombia, where people have been forced to intra-urban migration by governmental macro project. The proposal presents an experience guided by a system of raw interfaces, conceived for the development of a creative and collaborative participation of the public in which a scenography is constructed to draw, tell and write stories that intertwine the community’s subjectivities on the identity of the subjects, of the territory and of the limit involved in the concept of border. This citizen discussion can be provoked from 3 different creative participations sessions: to recognize, to cross or to revoke the frontier. This activity facilitates the formation in civility and a collective commitment about the social use of the urban space through the participatory design supported in the open-ended interfaces that can be replicated by the delivery of the open license work methodology.


Sticks, Ropes, Land: Confronting Colonial Practices in Public Space Design

Laura E. Kozak, Charlotte A. Falk, C. Jean Chisholm

Common participatory design and community consultation practices often tokenize participants’ input. This can limit the depth of information shared, lead to disconnected understandings of site, and perpetuate hierarchical structures between designers, planners and the communities they seek to serve. Sticks, Ropes, Land proposes alternative approaches for engaging with community stewards and groups who get marginalized in the design of public space. Through the development of practices that pair material-based methods of making with activities grounded in direct connections to place, Sticks, Ropes, Land puts forward approaches to participatory design that aim to question and problematize colonial structures in relation to public space design. This paper examines a series of three approaches that designers might consider towards the work of serving and supporting the agency and rights of place-based communities.




Next stop: Manizales! Staging a Co-Drive journey between Italy and Colombia

Laura Boffi, Giuseppe Mincolelli, Marcello Carrozzino

A situated action which prompts you to imagine how traveling and socializing by car could be between a driver of an automated vehicle and a remote passenger connected via virtual reality from home. The aim of the project is to probe if autonomous cars could provide a social context for new intergenerational encounters in the shape of a shared car trip. Participants are invited to watch the video scenario and the first experience prototype video and than intervene in their own city imagining “Co-Drive stops”.


2030 International RHIZomatic Assembly (IRHIZA)

Nik Baerten, Virginia Tassinari, Liesbeth Huybrechts, Elisa Bertolotti

In an interactive design fiction performance we explore the notion of non-human intelligences and their active agency in political discourse. Through speculative means a future context serves as both backdrop and design space for debates between humans and plants, exploring how the scientifically envisioned increased means of communication between the two could shape new solutions and realities. The performance hence deals with an expanded notion of “participation” and debate beyond mere human actors. In a multidisciplinary setting, participants stemming from both design and other fields of research (e.g. (ethno)botany, (neuro)biology, anthropology, etc.) will engage in a role-play and joint speculative storytelling effort aimed at exploring new questions regarding the challenges and opportunities shaped by such a future world. 


Food Carbon Footprint Index (FCFI)

Raphael Arar, Olivia Arar

Imagine a dystopian future wherein late capitalism requires that individuals are solely responsible for the climate crisis. Imagine a future where government surveillance of individuals becomes the popular standard for curbing carbon emissions and non-compliance results in serious penalties. The Food Carbon Footprint Index (FCFI) imagines just that. FCFI, a design provocation based on this design fiction, requires participants to log their meals via a “government controlled web application” meant to audit individual consumption. The app will calculate the meal’s carbon footprint and index this “score” against other participants. Scores will be broadcasted for public scrutiny and collective shaming.


OVERLOOKED / investigation into speculative scenarios where nature reversed biomimicry

Inna Alesina, David Guzman

In response to the “Participation(s) otherwise” theme of the conference and the Local/global – place/territory anchor points, the authors will use a model of symbiotic relationships found in nature to investigate possible intersections of design with other disciplines. The OVERLOOKED project will be presented in two parts 1) Overlooked Structures—a hands-on biomimicry display/ interactive exhibition. This can include live instructions and educational materials such as nature walks (or similar if place permits) and an interactive display for directed participation. 2) Overlooked Species Zoo—an immersive roleplay situation that can run alongside the interactive exhibition allowing participants to act out, bodystorm, and prototype speculative scenarios where biomimicry is reversed: nature borrows human tools of advertisement and marketing to perpetuate its own agenda. The tangible outcomes of both parts can be collages, drawings, and short writings that will be displayed in the space for the conference guests to see.  The techniques explored will be beneficial for a wide audience and especially useful to non-designers. Participants can include educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, design students, designers, engineers, UX developers, artists, and anyone curious about collaborating with other disciplines.

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