Recent HCI research agendas have placed emphasis on designing technology for user empowerment and technology democratisation. In the last decade, different tools and toolkits have become available that enabled people to create their own technologies. This has made it is easier for an individual to become a maker. There is also a hype around the Maker Movement, which is a strong community and culture around DIY/maker and heavy users of different toolkits. While the movement seems to well align with the research agenda, it has been criticised for lacking diversity and practicality in the broader world. The question remains how toolkits can afford and sustain wider participation of different communities in technology design. We also see a potential in discussing how HCI research could contribute to unpacking toolkits as tools for empowerment and thinking about the role of making in broader practice.

In this one-day workshop at NordiCHI’18, we aim to bring together researchers, designers, and practitioners with an interest in DIY/making toolkits for people from diverse backgrounds, for different purposes, and in a variety of contexts. We encourage sharing insights, discuss experiences, and identify key challenges and strategies for designing and using toolkits to engage people in technology design. The goal is to identify different ways in which toolkits can empower people and establish new connections with those developing toolkits or using toolkits as research tools.

Call for Participants

Recent trends within the HCI community have called for designing digital technologies that empower users. Several toolkits have been designed and introduced to broad groups of people, promoting DIY-making of interactive artefacts. The HCI community often highlights the novelty of toolkits and their potential to create different creations. However, these are not the only factors for a toolkit to be successful in a community. This one-day workshop offers a space for researchers, designers, and practitioners to share their insights and interests in designing and using DIY/making toolkits in different communities. The overarching goal of the workshop is to identify key challenges and practices that lead to success or failure in using and sustaining toolkits in different communities.

We invite interested candidates to submit a position paper of up to six pages including references in CHI Extended Abstract format as well as a poster design complementing the paper. The submission should highlight toolkits, the application contexts toolkits were used, their target communities, and some reflections on success and/or failure of the toolkits. Submissions (in PDF only) should be submitted via email to p.jarusriboonchai [at] gmail.com. The submission will be reviewed based on their relevance to the workshop theme and potential for contributing to discussions on using HCI toolkits to empower people.

Deadline: 10 August 2018. 17 August 2018 (extended) 20 August (another extension!)

Notification: 17 August 2018.  22 August 2018

Workshop day: 30 September 2018

Please note that we require at least one author of each accepted position paper to attend the workshop and that all participants must register for both workshop and at least one day of the conference.

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