Research

My research explores the ethical and political dimensions of design and technology, especially as related to questions of democracy and justice. Rooted in pragmatist ethics and feminist theory, I critically engage emerging digital technologies—such as smart cities or artificial intelligence—in their wide-ranging and transformative effect on the future of collective and social interactions. I view design and theory as inseparable to research on technology. As such, my work falls under three broad research strategies of theory, criticism, and design-based inquiry to better understand the human-made world.

 


  • Values as Hypotheses

    Design and technology discourses are often accompanied with implicit and explicit appeals to values. It is not uncommon, for example, to hear arguments that this or that technology will make our community relations more democratic and just, or advance efficiency and utility. But what exactly do we mean by these values and how do they shape design practice and design artifacts?

    Values as Hypotheses
  • Smart Cities & Safe Mobility

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    Are smart cities part of the solution to the problems of communication and community within cities, poised to improving the lives of citizens? Would they work to expand modes of participation and citizenship or instead suppress communication and further distance and disintegrate communities? 

    Smart Cities & Safe Mobility
  • Feminist Philosophic Toys

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    Building on the history of the Victorian ‘philosophical toy’ Feminist Philosophical Toys presents a re-imagined set of paper machines as feminist materials for designers to think with.

    Feminist Philosophic Toys
  • Doing Justice to Stories

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    Collecting, archiving, and sharing stories has been identified as possible practices to advance social justice, especially given the low cost and accessibility of digital technologies. But is it possible that the same collective force that is gained through large archives of stories masks and even betrays stories—taking away from what is meaningful and worthwhile in the acts of storytelling and listening?

    Doing Justice to Stories
  • Games for Learning

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    How can games engage students critically with science?

    Games for Learning
  • Collaborative Games

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    Digital participatory media such as collaborative games create environments that vary in their capacity for social engagement and learning. This research looks closely at such environments to tease out whether and how the design of such environments relate to the quality of social interactions mediated by them.

    Collaborative Games
  • Unintended Consequences

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    This theoretical exploration revisits the term “unintended consequences,” drawing upon an illustrative vignette to show how it is used to dismiss vital ethical and political concerns.

    Unintended Consequences
  • Algorithmic Fashion

    The introduction of algorithmic fashion assistants occasions the opportunity to see fashion for its substance as we interrogate algorithms’ claim to reason: surfacing both their inadequacy and oppressive potency.

    Algorithmic Fashion
  • Heart Sense

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    Fostering Social Connectedness Through Physiologically-Informed Design

    Heart Sense