Design Activism in HCI

In HCI, design activism has been practiced but has not been well articulated or discussed. We found the theme of activism in educational discussions within HCI opening a new avenue of discussion and investigation for the role of design activism in HCI. We have looked at two cases of senior undergraduate courses (‘Change Lab’ and a Special Topics Course on Sustainable Interaction Design) that show design activism in the classroom as examples from which to learn. From those case studies we were able to highlight themes and observations to encourage future articulation and practice of design activism in HCI and HCI education.

Inspired by ‘Design Fiction’ we created a fictional vision called SFUture, which envisions a sustainable university campus in the future of 2065. The fiction was carried out through a series of five short films aiming to unlock people’s imagination, encourage reflection, and inspire action towards a more sustainable reality at SFU (Simon Fraser University). In a DIS 2014 P-WiP we discuss our rationale and strategies of using design fiction as a method.