Smart Cities, Civic Media, Community Data Science, New Genres of Design
Designs for Foraging
Designs for Foraging is a research-through-design project investigating the practices of urban foraging. As a site of inquiry, foraging is compelling because it is an example of what Gibson-Graham refer to as a post-capitalist practice, part of a diverse economy and an informal system of care. For the past several years we have been collaborating with Concrete Jungle, in Atlanta, GA. Concrete Jungle is distinctive because they donate the majority of the fruits they collect to local social service providers. One of the challenges of foraging at scale is monitoring fruit trees. Unlike an orchard, these trees are distributed across the metro region. Working with Concrete Jungle we are prototyping and studying systems and services to reduce the amount of effort needed to monitor fruit trees, with the goal of reducing the workload of volunteers and enabling more time to be directed towards the collection and distribution of the fruit to those in need.
PARSE (Participatory Approaches to Researching Sensing Environments) combines design and social science methods to investigate the technologies and services of “Smart Cities.” By working together with communities, municipal government, and industry, the goal of this research is to collaboratively explore the issues and possibilities of distributed sensing in urban settings. Specifically, through co-design workshops and prototyping PARSE looks to identify and articulate the factors that shape and affect smart cities as socio-cultural systems, with implications for contemporary civics, sustainability, and diverse economies. The outcome of this research includes comparative case studies, frameworks for analysis and assessment, and use cases to inform engineering, policy, and strategy. The PARSE project is conducted in collaboration with MAPPD (Multi-Array Phased Participatory Deployment) and the Center for Urban Innovation at the Georgia Institute of Technology.