Anita Say Chan (Media & Cinema Studies, Institute of Communications Research)

Anita Say Chan

Senior Research Fellow, 2017-2019

Civic Technoscience and Inclusive Innovation Practice: Co-Design for Care
Emerging spaces of civic technoscience have increasingly drawn scholarly attention for cultivating novel practices of interdisciplinary design and community-driven knowledge exchange networks that engage new digital tools among “innovation” ready publics. Whether known as hacker spaces, civic labs or maker spaces, such sites have rapidly spread across varied urban spaces worldwide. But while scholarly attention has underscored their development of new material technologies, less academic attention has been given to the importance of the development of non-material tools. Such techno-social resources, cultural genealogies, and local concerns indeed inform innovation practice. This proposed research project thus interrogates contributions such techno-social innovations make by extending explorations into the diverse, intersectional cultural genealogies that – often surprisingly - influence maker and pedagogical practices alike in Latin American hacker spaces, and that extend far beyond standard Western hacker emphases on material tinkering and mastery. These techno-social resources instead support engagements by diverse communities of vulnerable and marginalized users, including rural migrant communities, working-class youth, the elderly, and the disabled among other populations who are typically marginalized by dominant innovation-driven imaginaries. This research project studies the development of techno-social resources in Latin American civic technoscience networks to consider how they work to generate inclusive practices of care, co-design and community. It thus considers how such sites draw in and learn from diverse communities of typically marginalized users to foster new practices of inclusive co-development.

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