Expressing Matters of Concern Through HCI Design

In the 21st century, many artists and designers are uncertain about how to create the modern day version of democracy in order to demonstrate and represent the current social conditions and expected futures. Within five years of research through crafting, design researchers Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel examined the shift in contemporary democracy from “matters of fact” to “matters of concern” and studied the role human-computer interaction (HCI) design has in this shift.

The central purpose of this research is to determine how the concept of “design things” functions to express matters of concern, which are conditions considered as objective data. Matters of concern are observed situations and their consequences. Researchers instinctively evaluated five design projects, each of these projects emphasizing different design strategies used to find and communicate
the many aspects of a topic. They used an assortment of setups, including media design, visualizations, workshops, and hackathons. Their conclusion is that the role of design contributes to the formation of publics and HCI design could be used to bring awareness to the qualities and factors that encompass present-day social conditions.

DiSalvo, Carl, Jonathan Lukens, Thomas Lodato, Tom Jenkins, and Tanyoung Kim. “Making public things: how HCI design can express matters of concern.” In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems, pp. 2397-2406. ACM, 2014.