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From Design Fiction to Design Friction: Speculative and Participatory Design of Values-Embedded Urban Technology

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  • Laura Forlano
  • Anijo Mathew

Abstract

This paper discusses the results of the Designing Policy project, which engages current debates about urban technology through the creation of a visual toolkit and a series of workshops. The workshops were held in Chicago, New York, and Boston during 2012-2013 with funding from the Urban Communication Foundation. The purpose of the project was three-fold: (1) to open up the "black box" of urban technology in order to reveal the politics embedded in city infrastructures; (2) to move beyond discussions of urban problems and solutions, and towards a more conceptual future-oriented space; and (3) to explore the use of design methods such as visual prototypes and participatory design. This article introduces the concept of design friction as a way of understanding the ways in which conflicts, tensions and disagreements can move complex socio-technical discussions forward where they can be worked out through material engagement in hands-on prototyping.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Forlano & Anijo Mathew, 2014. "From Design Fiction to Design Friction: Speculative and Participatory Design of Values-Embedded Urban Technology," Journal of Urban Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 7-24, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:cjutxx:v:21:y:2014:i:4:p:7-24
    DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2014.971525
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/10630732.2014.971525
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laura Forlano & Alison Powell & Gwen Shaffer & Benjamin Lennett, 2011. "From the digital divide to digital excellence: global best practices for municipal and community wireless networks," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29461, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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