Seamful Civics, with Carl DiSalvo

Design is often cast as a way to streamline government and social services. But in our work with communities, time and again we encounter situations in which there is a value to friction and calling attention to disjunctions. Drawing on research in Human-Computer Interaction and Science and Technology Studies, we characterize these situation as seamful civics. In this talk, I’ll share a series of community-based projects that highlight this experience of seamful civics, and discuss the role of data in revealing and expressing seamfulness in our civic environments. I will also situate this work within scholarship on participatory design, and the need for diverse models of engaged research.

Carl DiSalvo is an Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with appointments in the School of Interactive Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. He work examines the social and political qualities of contemporary design. His first book Adversarial Design was published by MIT Press. He is also editor of the journal Design Issues.