At the Berkeley School of Information, a group of researchers interested in the areas of critically-oriented design practices, critical social theory, and STS have hosted a reading group called “Assembling Critical Practices,” bringing together literature from these fields, in part to track their historical continuities and discontinuities, as well as to see new opportunities for design and research when putting them in conversation together.
Below is our reading list from our first iterations of this group. Sections 1-3 focus on critically-oriented HCI, early critiques of AI, and an introduction to critical theory through the Frankfurt School. This list comes from an I School reading group put together in collaboration with Anne Jonas and Jenna Burrell.
Section 4 covers a broader range of social theories. This comes from a reading group sponsored by the Berkeley Social Science Matrix organized by myself and Anne Jonas with topic contributions from Nick Merrill, Noura Howell, Paul Duguid, Anna Lauren Hoffman, and Morgan Ames (Feedback and suggestions are welcome! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Table of Contents:
- Section 1: Introducing Critical Design, and exploring Critical Theory
- Section 2: Critically Oriented Design in HCI
- Section 3: Further Topics in HCI
- Section 4: Assembling Critical Practices
Section 1: Introducing Critical Design, and exploring Critical Theory
Intro to ‘critical design’
- Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. Chapter 4 from Design noir: The secret life of electronic objects. 2001.
- Sengers, P., Boehner, K., David, S., & Kaye, J. J. (2005, August). Reflective design. In Proceedings of the 4th decennial conference on Critical computing: between sense and sensibility (pp. 49-58). ACM http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1094569
- Pierce, James, et al. “Expanding and Refining Design and Criticality in HCI.”Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2015. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2702438
- Genevieve Bell, Mark Blythe, and Phoebe Sengers. 2005. Making by making strange: Defamiliarization and the design of domestic technologies. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 12, 2 (June 2005), 149-173. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1067862
How does ‘Critical Theory’ inform critical design — early work (Heidegger)
- Heidegger, (1977) ‘The Question concerning Technology’
- Winograd and Flores (1986) ‘Understanding Computers and Cognition’ (Heidegger) – Chapters 2-3
- Hubert Dreyfus (1972) What Computers Can’t Do (excerpts)
How does ‘Critical Theory’ Inform Critical Design — early work 2
- Lucy Suchman – ‘Human-Machine Reconfigurations’ – (excerpts, focus on chapter 13-14)
- Agre, Philip. “Toward a critical technical practice: Lessons learned in trying to reform AI.” Bridging the Great Divide: Social Science, Technical Systems, and Cooperative Work, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum (1997): 131-157. http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/critical.html
Critical Theory Overview
- Secondary readings: excerpts from The Frankfurt School and its Critics, Tom Bottomore,
- Look at Critical Theory in the Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/critical-theory/
- The Origin of Negative Dialectics, Susan Buck-Morss (1977) Chap. 1 ‘a biographical essay’ and Chap. 2 ‘Marx Minus the Proletariat: Theory as Praxis’
Critical Theory 2 (Benjamin)
- Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the age of Mechanical Reproduction”
- Buck-Morss (1992) “Aesthetics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay Reconsidered” http://www.jstor.org/stable/778700
Section 2: Critically-Oriented Design in HCI
“Values” in Design
- Weber, excerpts: ‘The Definition of Sociology and of Social Action’ and ‘Types of Social action’
- Graeber (2001) Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value, chapter 1: ‘Three Ways of Talking about Value’
- Nissenbaum, Helen. “How computer systems embody values.” Computer 34.3 (2001): 118-120. http://www.nyu.edu/projects/nissenbaum/papers/embodyvalues.pdf
- Cory Knobel and Geoffrey C. Bowker. 2011. Values in design. Commun. ACM 54, 7 (July 2011), 26-28. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1965724.1965735
Early Attempts embedding alternate values into technology
- Lars Hallnäs and Johan Redström. 2001. Slow Technology – Designing for Reflection. Personal Ubiquitous Comput. 5, 3 (January 2001), 201-212. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/PL00000019
- Ludic Design – Gaver, William W., et al. “The drift table: designing for ludic engagement.”CHI’04 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems. ACM, 2004. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=985947
- Gaver (2002) Designing for Homo Ludens, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242529258_Designing_for_Homo_Ludens
Design Research Methods: Design Workbooks & Cultural Probes
- Gaver, Bill, Tony Dunne, and Elena Pacenti. “Design: cultural probes.”interactions 6.1 (1999): 21-29. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=291235
- Boehner, Kirsten, et al. “How HCI interprets the probes.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. ACM, 2007. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1240789
- Gaver, William. “Making spaces: how design workbooks work.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2011. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1979169
- DiSalvo, Carl. Adversarial design. The MIT Press, 2012. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/bkabstractplus.jsp?bkn=7150574 – Read chapter 1 (Design and Agonism), and any other parts that might interest you
- Asaro, P. M. (2000). Transforming society by transforming technology: the science and politics of participatory design. Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, 10(4), 257-290. http://peterasaro.org/writing/Asaro%20PD.pdf
- Skim over glance at the proceedings of the first Participatory Design Conference in the US (1990) http://ojs.ruc.dk/index.php/pdc/article/view/96/88
Reflecting on Critical Design: What is Critical about Critical Design?
- Bardzell, Jeffrey, and Shaowen Bardzell. “What is critical about critical design?.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems. ACM, 2013. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2466451
Section 3: Further Topics in HCI
- (Excerpts) Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. Speculative everything: design, fiction, and social dreaming. MIT Press, 2013.
- Bill Gaver and Heather Martin. 2000. Alternatives: exploring information appliances through conceptual design proposals. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’00). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 209-216. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/332040.332433
- Bleecker, J. “Design fiction: A short essay on design, science, fact and fiction. 2009.” http://drbfw5wfjlxon.cloudfront.net/writing/DesignFiction_WebEdition.pdf
Tanenbaum, Joshua, Karen Tanenbaum, and Ron Wakkary. “Steampunk as design fiction.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2012.http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2208279
- Blythe, Mark. “Research through design fiction: narrative in real and imaginary abstracts.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2014. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2557098
- Pierce, James, and Eric Paulos. “Counterfunctional things: exploring possibilities in designing digital limitations.” Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing interactive systems. ACM, 2014. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2598522
Critical Approaches to Infrastructures
- Excerpts from Bowker, Star (2000) Classification and its Consequences
- Irani, Lilly, and M. Silberman. “From critical design to critical infrastructure: lessons from turkopticon.” interactions 21.4 (2014): 32-35. http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/july-august-2014/from-critical-design-to-critical-infrastructure-lessons-from-Turkopticon
Section 4: Assembling Critical Practices
- Mbembe, A. (2008). Necropolitics. In Foucault in an Age of Terror (pp. 152-182). Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9780230584334_9
- micha cárdenas (2016) “Trans of Color Poetics: Stitching Bodies, Concepts, and Algorithms” (http://sfonline.barnard.edu/traversing-technologies/micha-cardenas-trans-of-color-poetics-stitching-bodies-concepts-and-algorithms/)
- Nikolas Rose (2016) “Reading the Human Brain: How the Mind Became Legible” (http://bod.sagepub.com/content/22/2/140.full)
- For this week’s design artifact, we’ll take a look at the company humanyze, which professes to offer “people analytics” (http://www.humanyze.com/index.html).
Background: Kay and Gallant (2009) “I can see what you see” Nature Neuroscience (http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v12/n3/full/nn0309-245.html)
Background: MIT Sociometer project (https://www.cs.cornell.edu/~tanzeem/pubs/choudhury_iswc2003.pdf)
- Barad (2013) Posthumanist Performativity
- Barad (2007) introduction to Meeting the Universe Halfway
- Interview with Barad: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/o/ohp/11515701.0001.001/1:4.3/–new-materialism-interviews-cartographies?rgn=div2;view=fulltext
- Introna, L. D. (2014). Towards a post-human intra-actional account of sociomaterial agency (and morality). In The Moral Status of Technical Artefacts (pp. 31-53). Springer Netherlands.
The Body and Technology: A Phenomenological Perspective
- Chap 3. “Spatiality of One’s Own Body and Motility” from Phenomenology of Perception”, Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1945)
Race, Class, and Marx
- Leonardo, Z. (2004). The unhappy marriage between Marxism and race critique: Political economy and the production of racialized knowledge. Policy Futures in Education, 2(3-4), 483-493.
- Zeus Leonardo (2012): The Race for Class: Reflections on
a Critical Raceclass Theory of Education, Educational Studies 48:5, 427-449. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131946.2012.715831
- Leonardo (2010). “Ideology and its Modes of Existence: Toward an Althusserian Theory of Race and Racism” in Handbook of Cultural Politics and Education, 195–217.
Design and Social Justice
- Dombrowski, Harmon, Fox (2016) “Social Justice-Oriented Interaction Design”
- Walter Benjamin’s “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”
Critical Approaches in Urban Design
- Sadowski, J., & Pasquale, F. A. (2015). The spectrum of control: A social theory of the smart city. First Monday
- Rittel, H. W., & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy sciences, 4(2), 155-169.
Critical Communication Studies (Hall & Gramsci)
- Hall, Stuart. “Encoding/decoding.”
- Hall, Stuart. “Gramsci and Us.”
Weber, Charisma, and Charismatic Technology
- Weber excerpts:
- Excerpts from Charisma and its Transformation
- The Nature and Impact of Charisma
- Charismatic Authority; The Routinization of Charisma
- Ames, M. G. (2015, August). Charismatic technology. In Proceedings of The Fifth Decennial Aarhus Conference on Critical Alternatives (pp. 109-120). Aarhus University Press. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2882871
Imagining Intersectional Futures (CSCW)
- Review several of the position papers from the 2017 CSCW Workshop: http://depts.washington.edu/tatlab/intersectionalfutures/
- Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford law review, 1241-1299.
Power and Subjectivity
- Review the Crenshaw “Mapping the margins” piece
- Grosz, E. (1990). Contemporary theories of power and subjectivity. Ch3 in Feminist knowledge: Critique and construct, 59-120.
Configuring User Subjectivity
- Review Grosz “Contemporary theories of power and subjectivity” chapter
- Woolgar, S. (1990). Configuring the user: the case of usability trials. The Sociological Review, 38(1), 58-99.