Intelligent Environments for Empowering Citizens
Design an urban sensing system that increases the impact of individual citizens on elected officials, helping to address the power imbalance between corporate speech and citizen speech. Our design goal for the project was designing intelligent protest environments using ubiquitous computing to empower citizens.
Button + App = Analytics
Analysing the Problem Space
Why do active citizens protest?
What are their motivations?
Network with others
Learn more about the cause
Sense of solidarity
Sense of doing something
Stand up and be counted
What are protest organizers concerned about?
Actual protest is not the most important phase
Main areas of focus are the before and after
Recruiting relevant participants and reporting the actual count of protesters to the press and politicians are difficult
Priliminary Research and Interviews
To find out more about a protester’s experience, we conducted 10 interviews with a diverse group of politically active people, including two organizers from OnePittsburgh - a leading political organizing group in Pittsburgh.
Based on our preliminary research and interviews, we came up with 50 concepts and design ideas that we then grouped them into 12 common themes for our next round of research.
We speed dated with six politically active people who had previous protest experiences to test what types of activity and technology they would find acceptable in the protest. We created 12 different scenarios based on each of 12 concepts we came up with and walked them through the scenario to find out how we could introduce technology into the protest.
Based on our interviews and research we came across 4 main opportunity areas in protest expereince
Final Concept Walkthrough
What if there is an intelligent environemnt system supporting these opportunity spaces for empowering citizens inside and outside of protests? Our final concept StandWith does just that.
Badge as a form factor
Badges are existing artifacts people use to share their opinion in public.
Cost of Devices
Based on our calculation existing badges cost $25 if made as one offs. But if manufactured in large scale these reusable displays could approximate close to $1 per badge.
Coupling a personal device with the badge to validate and authenticate users while using it as a means to bring visibility to the cause.