Designing for Vulnerable Communities When You Don’t Have All the Answers
Workshop led by Kentaro Toyama to explore human-centered problem solving through the lens of design ethics. Open to non-designers and the public. Limited number of seats.
Students will work in teams to brainstorm ideas to address problems faced by vulnerable communities (such as those that are low-income, politically marginalized, or socially ostracized). During different phases of the workshop, teams will form based on common interests; brainstorm design ideas; sketch out possibilities; and think through questions they need to investigate to make further progress. During a final critique phase, teams will critique each other not on the designs themselves, but with respect to the thoroughness of the questions raised.
Kentaro Toyama is W.K. Kellogg Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology. Until 2009, Toyama was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, where he founded a research group that conducts interdisciplinary research to invent new ways for technology to support the socio-economic development of the world’s poorest communities. Prior to his time in India, Toyama did computer vision and machine learning research and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana. Toyama graduated from Yale with a PhD in Computer Science and from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in Physics.