Techniques of use: Confronting value systems of productivity, progress, and usefulness in computing and design

Cindy Lin, Silvia Lindtner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper turns to one of HCI's central value systems, i.e. its commitments to usefulness and the ideal that technology enables social progress, productivity, and excellence. Specifcally, we examine how the seemingly positive ideal to make technology useful - i.e. to build systems and devices that advance social and technological progress - masks various forms of violence and injustice such as colonial othering, racist exclusions, and exploitation. Drawing from ethnographic research, we show how design and computing methods from design thinking to agile theory and entrepreneurial approaches in tech production and higher education are the latest techniques in the cultivation of useful bodies on behalf of the state, the corporation, the university, and the economy. Aligning with feminist, critical race and critical computing commitments, this paper ofers a genealogical approach to show how injustice and violence endure, despite and because of a narrative of progress and positive change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, Combining Strengths
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2021
Event10th International Conference on Materials Processing and Characterisation, ICMPC 2020 - Mathura, U.P., India
Duration: Feb 21 2020Feb 23 2020

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference10th International Conference on Materials Processing and Characterisation, ICMPC 2020
Country/TerritoryIndia
CityMathura, U.P.
Period2/21/202/23/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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