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Contestational design : innovation for political activism

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dc.contributor.advisor William J. Mitchell. en_US Hirsch, Edward A., 1970- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences. en_US 2009-08-26T17:00:06Z 2009-08-26T17:00:06Z 2008 en_US 2008 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2008. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 134-142). en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis presents contestational design, a unique form of design activity whose aim is promote particular agendas in contested political arenas. I propose a framework for analyzing contestational design processes, which I then apply to two initiatives that developed communications infrastructure for activist groups. The first case study is TXTmob, an SMS-broadcast system that I developed with an ad-hoc coalition of activists to support mass mobilizations during the 2004 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. It has been used by thousands of people and has inspired new projects in both the nonprofit and commercial sectors. The second case study is Dialup Radio, a telephone-based independent media system that I developed with a civil society organization in Zimbabwe. It was intended to disseminate activist information, particularly to Zimbabwe's rural poor. Despite limited infrastructure and government restrictions, several prototypes were produced and tested in Zimbabwe. After describing each case study individually, I turn to a comparison of their respective processes and the artifacts that each produced. Examining the cases side by side, I identify a set of common issues with which contestational designers contend at various points in the design process. Finally, I describe a set of organizing principles that distinguish contestational design from other kinds of design activity. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility Tad Hirsch. en_US
dc.format.extent 142 leaves en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences. en_US
dc.title Contestational design : innovation for political activism en_US
dc.title.alternative Innovation for political activism en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. Program in Media Arts and Sciences. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 422764543 en_US

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