Veera Konsti / Aalto University

DesignLab guest lecture | Rethinking Transdisciplinarity and the Politics of Participation

If you’re wondering how to take the next step in solving societal challenges within your research, then the upcoming DesignLab guest lecture might bring new perspectives to mind. When starting to work in a transdisciplinary way, it raises some ethical, intercultural and political and other challenges. Professor Nitin Sawhney at Aalto University Helsinki has been invited by DesignLab researcher Dr. Cristina Zaga to share his experience, and have a dialogue. Come and join us online, on the 7th of May from 12:00 to 13:00 CET! 

Challenges when problem-solving

What does it mean to undertake transdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving and critical design? How should we reconcile inter-disciplinary to anti-disciplinary practices in reflexively tackling crucial challenges and societal impact? What is the role of participation in human-centred design and what are the political consequences of engaging in participatory design with vulnerable communities? What do feminism, decolonial theory and indigenous protocols offer in rethinking ethical design practices, action-oriented research, critical AI and data justice? These are among many questions and challenges I find myself asking together with my students and collaborators in my teaching and research. The talk will reveal some of these contingencies and suggest pathways to navigating them critically.

About Nitin Sawhney

Nitin Sawhney is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University. As a human-centered design researcher he examines the critical role of technology, civic media, and urban interventions in crisis and contested spaces. He engages user experience design, participatory action research, sensory ethnography, and multi-modal approaches for complex contexts of human-machine interaction. He has been conducting research at the intersection of AI and HCI for real-time news as well as humanitarian and crisis situations. At Aalto University, Prof. Sawhney has embarked on a new research project on Reconstructing Crisis Narratives for Trustworthy Communication and Cooperative Agency. For more information, please visit the website of Nitin Sawhney

DesignLab lectures

DesignLab regularly organises lectures, free of charge and open to everyone that is interested. The previous online lecture, about the challenges and chances that arise with transdisciplinary innovation, was given by guest lecturer professor Kees Dorst (University of Technology Sydney). Missed it or interested? Watch the video. It may also serve as great input for the next Designlab guest lecture of Nitin Sawhney: 'Rethinking Transdisciplinarity and the Politics of Participation'? 

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