For Mozfest 2018, I decided to go a little deeper on the topic of smart cities. The first workshop I ever facilitated there had been on the topic of pervasive computing which has many intersections with smart cities but now I wanted to explore some of the outcomes a bit further.
I am still a bit obsessed with this whole question of approaches to designing complex systems and design jams allow me to explore that. Plus it means I get to better understand the issues that come up with collaborative approaches instead of… just lecturing people.
The session will be structured as a design jam where participants go through the user centred creation process to prototype features for (or even an entire) smart city which puts intersectionality at the heart of its digital and physical architecture.
Combining methods inspired by critical design and community centred practice and traditional Igbo masquerade (mmanwu) performance, we will start by ideating based on not only issues but also existing solutions we see in our own contexts, then perform light ethnography amongst fellow Mozfest attendees and the local community before getting down to prototyping our solutions through cardboard, code and post-its!
Following an iterative design and test process, we will end up with prototypes of a human+environment centred smart city.
I still can’t get over that this actually happened. JSConf EU has a very special place in my heart as it was the ultimate conference for me when I first got into tech. Even though I’m more on the design side than the coding side, I still watch their videos and follow the twitter devotedly as they have not only the best roster of speakers ever, they are serious about creating a tech ecosystem that is inclusive, sophisticated and interesting!
So you can imagine my thrill when my talk proposal got accepted. You can watch the talk below or read through the slides beneath the ‘Read more’ (speaker notes are open).
I was invited to speak as part of the Wilberforce Society annual conference titled ‘Brave New World: Reimagined’, focussing on questions around the technological landscape of the future and the implications for policy and legislation.
My talk was part of a panel called ‘The White Heat of Technology’. Although I discuss the Internet of Things, I’m more interested in how our approaches to designing the services powered by such architecture is… sort of problematic.
I’ve been attending the Manchester Girl Geeks barcamps since 2013 and they’ve pretty much become one of the highlights of my year. Each one gets better and better – I get to listen to a variety of fascinating topics, meet very clever and hardworking women from a wide range of backgrounds and get to eat amazing cake.
This year obviously I had to travel up from Warwick which meant getting up ludicrously early on a Saturday following a very tiring and stressful week. Still I arrived on time, even though it seemed not that many others did. Anyway, undeterred I checked out the speakers already signed up on the board and took a comfortable seat ready for the launch of what promised to be a day of girl geek amazingness. Not least because we were given adorable mini hemp goodie bags (obviously I took a purple one).