department of informatics

Waves and forms: constructing the cultural in design

TitleWaves and forms: constructing the cultural in design
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHalabi, A., and B. Zimmermann
JournalAI & Society
KeywordsCulture, HCI Design, Syria, Voluntary community, Waves and forms
While research in HCI on dealing with cultural issues when designing ICTs tended to adopt fixed and taxonomic views, recent theoretical perspectives closer to the social sciences have called for attending to the contingent, fluid, and dynamic aspects of the notion of culture. In this article, we contribute to translating these perspectives into an approach for informing design. We focus on abandoning prior conceptions of culture to allow the discovery of cultural differences through inductive field research while engaging with the target community. This allows a view on cultural difference that is generative for design: it is unique to each case, and it also remains close to the concerns of community members. We base our approach on Basile Zimmermann’s ( 2015) waves and forms framework, and we illustrate it through our engagement and design with VOCI, a local voluntary community of tech-savvy university students in Syria between 2011 and 2015.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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