Talk and Workshop on Critical Participatory Design by Dr. Katta Spiel, KU Leuven and University of Vienna

Four hands holding four controllers and playing on two portable devices
Image by Katta Spiel

The Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems research group (GeDIS) under the auspices of the Research Centre for Information Systems Design (ITeG) will be hosting Dr. Katta Spiel affiliated to the KU Leuven, Belgium and University of Vienna, Austria to share insights on their research approach: Critical Participatory Design. Spiel’s research has predominantly been in the design of digital games with neurodivergent youth and understanding the experiences of autistic children in technological contexts. Spiel works also with Critical and Queer Theory in the analysis of Human Computer Interaction methods and design of Technologies. Their work is mostly centred on the notions of gender and disability.

Dr. Katta Spiel will give a talk on Critical Participatory Design — On Listening and Making Space and will conduct a hands-on exploration workshop titled Critical Design and Engineering Practices.

For the workshop, send a short confirmation email to Nana Kesewaa Dankwa at nkdankwa[at]uni-kassel[dot]de to register until November 01, 2019.

Detailed information of the talk and workshop can be found below.


TitleCritical Participatory Design — On Listening and Making Space
TimeNovember 13, 2019, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
PlaceConference Room, ITeG, Pfannkuchstr. 1, University of Kassel
DescriptionParticularly in the Scandinavian tradition, Participatory Design has always had a critical component, emancipating stakeholders who are often marginalised and disenfranchised in dominant modes of technological development. My practice, however, centres explicitly on critical engagements. Doing so, I not only draw on Critical Theory to identify marginalised groups in Participatory Design, but I also create objects with them that further develop this theory and reflect on power dynamics in knowledge production within academia. In this talk, I present two case studies exemplifying the foundations of a Critical Participatory Design practice. One shows how autistic children as meaningfully involved as equally contributing designers. The second focuses on neighbourhood maps and demonstrates how, even in more constrained projects, the approach supports researchers to attune themselves to questions of power, ownership and epistemology. In their combination, they illustrate how active listening and a conscious attempt at deliberately making physical and metaphorical spaces.



TitleCritical Design and Engineering Practices — A hands-on exploration
TimeNovember 14, 2019, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
PlaceConference Room, ITeG, Pfannkuchstr. 1, University of Kassel

In this workshop, we will collaboratively as well as individually explore what critical design and engineering practices could look like.  
We invite participants of any disciplinary background to join us in this exploration.  No particular design, engineering or theoretical knowledge is required.  
Only an open mind and an interest in thinking critically about technology and the world we live in.

Please register until November 01, 2019 at nkdankwa[at]uni-kassel[dot]de

The lecture and workshop are hosted by Prof. Dr. Claude Draude and Nana Kesewaa Dankwa, Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems & Research Center for Information System Design.

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