Engagements 2 as ‘HCI Material’: Propagating Community Agency, Through Embedded Technologies

Nicholas Gant, Robert Phillips , Mel Jordan, Sarah Teasley, Gail Ramster, Katie Gaudion , Katie Spragg, Hannah Franklin Stewart , Mel Brimfield

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


HCI has material attributes. As a sociotechnical assemblage, HCI mediates and/or translates technologies to public(s) and vice versa. It is malleable, ‘made’ and crafted and as a material media technology changes our relation-ships to ‘things’, each other and our surrounding world. Thinking through HCI as material allows us to unite disciplines with technologies, ensuring that how we conceptualise work is tangible and applicable. Working from this under-standing of HCI, allows the authors to contextualise Engagements 2 as an emerging ‘material’ space uniting art, design and other practices often fractured through disciplinary conventions. Traditionally, public engagement encom-passes ways organisations engage with external parties. HCI contemporaries, Public Interest Technologies (PITs) empower public stakeholders and munici-palities. PITs unravel intractable problems, through design, data, and delivery, thus providing user agency and yields wider societal benefit(s).
We question how digital technologies can transition ‘public(s)’, to sustainable approaches. In time, Engagements 2 will be commonplace as technologies (PITs, augmented reality, IoT sensing and more) are embedded into public envi-ronment(s), if engagement can be defined as a ‘craft-able’, material concern. The article unites contemporaries in: the public realm, social design, and public engagement methods to identify the: pitfalls, benefits, and opportunities. There is a need for creating a ‘best practice’ roadmap to creative, active engagement. These values go well beyond designing for inclusion and seek for more sustain-able and integral interactions, impacts and culture creation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022
Event24th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 26 Jun 20221 Jul 2022


Conference24th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleHCI International 2022
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Under no circumstances may the author's manuscript be shared or distributed under a Creative Commons, or other form of open access license, nor may it be reformatted or enhanced.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. Funded by: (RCA) Research Office, (RP/CS/157: 800076). Informed by My Naturewatch, EPSRC (Grant EP/P006353/1). Thanks to: Sarah West, Something & Sons, Bailey Richardson, Susan Hamilton & Christie Walker.

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