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2 Publications at ACM DIS '23 | Pittsburgh, PA
(1) Miracle Machine in the Making: Soulful Speculation with Kabbalah, (2) Temporal Tensions in Digital Story Mapping for Housing Justice: Rethinking Time and Technology in Community-Based Design
Last week, I attended the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 2023 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. I presented two new peer-reviewed archival publications, one at the Design Reflection, Criticality & Ethics session, and the other at the Communities & Participation session. I also presented a work in progress at a workshop on generative artificial intelligence. Below are the abstracts and links to both publications, which are available in the ACM Digital Library.
Miracle Machine in the Making: Soulful Speculation with Kabbalah
Brett A. Halperin & Daniela K. Rosner
What does it mean to design for a miracle—an ineffable phenomenon that might just exist in the world, but might also transcend it? Focusing on an esoteric strand of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah, we draw from speculative interview activities with 11 Jewish creative interlocutors to describe a process of designing a “miracle machine.” Interweaving foundational Kabbalah literature with design inquiry, we find that lived experiences of miracles span life-saving events, effortful acts of love, and ineffable forms of knowledge. We also learn that people envision miracle machines as natural, cosmic, and sensory systems with transcendent capacities. These insights rework a normative focus on the human mind (cognition) and body (embodiment) by embracing the all-too-often overlooked soul as a design resource. We end with a reflection on what soulful speculation entails and the purview that it expands, reorienting our understanding of what machines are altogether.
Brett A. Halperin & Erin McElroy
In this paper, we explore temporal and technological conjunctures of community-based design responsiveness based upon our experiences of making an interactive digital story map amid housing crises. Through reflexive ethnographic work with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, we trace three intertwined genres of temporality in our community-based design process: slow design with care; rapid design in response to the urgency of crises; and disruptive design that seeps in from Silicon Valley, proving to “move fast and break things.” We assess temporal tensions and contradictions in an evolving data landscape by examining struggles over our pace of practice, time-based media lifecycles, and tooling trade-offs. Theorizing community-based design dilemmas, we contemplate ways of mindfully designing with time, making the past present via digital storytelling, and reimagining technological relations over time.