“Freedom Dreams”: Imagining Inclusive Technology Futures through Co-Design with Black Americans

Published on 29 Jul 2022, 18:12
Recorded on June 8, 2022

Speaker: Dr. Christina N. Harrington, Assistant Professor in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and Director of the Equity and Health Innovations Design Research Lab

In Robin D.G. Kelley’s Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, he details a history of Black feminist movements that interrogate what is “normal”, while also envisioning new ways of living and interacting that constitute a total transformation of our society, indicating a notion of “freedom dreams” stemming from feminism and queer movements. Similar approaches such as Afrofuturist feminism offer an ideology which places Blackness, queerness, and those with varying abilities at the center of our collective futuring. These frameworks stand to inform a more equity-centered approach to considering technology and the design of the world around us by not only imagining different futures but dismantling the concepts of “otherness” that is often associated with futuring among historically marginalized groups. In this presentation I’ll present case studies of projects that center Black, older, and disabled individuals in our considerations of what makes technology inclusive, equitable, and transformative. I discuss what I’ve learned in co-design projects with various communities and paths to drive more equitable and liberatory research and development practices.

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