Seminar with Ann Light, Monday Nov. 30: The Design of World Machines: Sharing, Caring and Global Technologies

The “sharing economy” deals with spare capacity that can be rented out. File sharing makes replicable digital content illicitly available. Both developments exist in a culture of owned personal or corporate resources. What if we turn our focus to shared world resources?

I offer the idea of world machines as a new archetype for the design of systems that draw together computational powers to connect, sense and infer with a social agenda of cross-world collaboration.

A world machine equips members of world society with access to the means to sample, test and report on their circumstances and what they see (or can sense with tools), as well as to find each other, analyze the meaning of the data and link up for action upon what is found. A world machine connects local and global, but does so without crushing defining elements of home culture. The two-way flow of information, from local nodes to a more central processing facility and back, is a key characteristic.

After an introduction of key themes, there will be a mix of discussion and making in this seminar.

The seminar will be held at CODE, Building 90, room 90.3.15, Monday Nov. 30, 14:30 -17:00

Everyone is welcome

Ann Light is Professor of Design and Creative Technology at the University of Sussex. She is a researcher specializing in design for social wellbeing, design for social change and the politics of participation, applying creative and qualitative methods to participatory value chains developed in an ethical production project, work with community groups on environmental issues and ageing, agency and technology. She draws on many influences, publishing chiefly on design of social process, co-design, social innovation, interaction and cross-cultural methodology. Her research career, which has included leading interdisciplinary research teams spanning transport, architecture and growing food, was preceded by management and facilitation experience in design company start-ups and as a drama teacher. She leads the Creative Technology Group at Sussex.

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