Sara Heitlinger: Connected Seeds

The QUT Design Lab invites you to a guest seminar:

Connected Seeds: Co-design of Internet of Things for Sustainable Urban Agriculture

Dr Sara Heitlinger
Queen Mary University of London

Friday, 17 February 2017, 3pm – 4pm
QUT Design Lab, Gardens Point campus, J Block, Room J214 (map)

In this talk I will present recent research from the Connected Seeds and Sensors project, exploring how co-designing digital technologies with urban agricultural communities can support more sustainable food practices in the city. The project seeks to expand the design space of sustainable smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT) beyond managerial, utilitarian narratives, by incorporating playful interactions, personal stories, and participatory design. I will describe the practice of co-designing a Connected Seeds Library with seed-savers and food-growers in east London, and reflect on some of the challenges and opportunities of community-based IoT, including meaning-making of different types of data.

About Sara:
As an HCI researcher and designer my interests are in sustainability, involving the user in the design process, and in non-utilitarian approaches that draw on the arts and humanities. During my PhD I developed a community-based understanding of sustainability within HCI, and developed a ludic participatory design methodology as a way of expanding the design space of sustainable HCI beyond dominant utilitarian narratives. By facilitating opportunities for diverse people to participate in inclusive design activities that are grounded in the needs, practices and values of their communities, my research and practice aims to support community resilience and cohesion. I am currently Researcher Co-Investigator on Connected Seeds and Sensors, an 18 month EPSRC-funded Research in the Wild – Internet of Things (IoT) project based at QMUL, where I am investigating how the development of a “smart” seed library can help empower communities and support more sustainable food practices in the city. My investigation challenge is to make IoT accessible and inclusive to diverse users, where wifi, mobile phone and a tech-savvy user base is not a given, and how this reality differs from the idealised vision of a connected “smart” city.

Date Friday, 17 February 2017, 3pm – 4pm AEST
Location QUT Design Lab, Gardens Point campus, J Block, Room J214
Cost Free
Organisation QUT Design Lab
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