Abigail Durrant

Associate Professor - Northumbria University

Ethical Responsiveness and longer term thinking in design research

In this talk I will explore the practice of ethical responsiveness in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research, by presenting examples of work and focusing on researcher practice and experience. I will reflect on how we, as design researchers, position ourselves in relation to the ethical concerns of those working in socially, culturally and politically sensitive settings.

The talk hinges around a developing practice of ethical responsiveness, grounded in established philosophies. I draw upon Pragmatist and Dialogical ethics to position researcher answerability within relationships between key research partners and stakeholders. Ethics is conceptualised as a lived and emergent concern made manifest through these relationships, experienced in terms of feeling the moral weight of being answerable to others and being responsive to this through an applied research process. I’ll discuss the implications of ethical responsiveness for doing value sensitive design research that involves longer term thinking.

About the speaker:

I am Associate Professor in the School of Design at Northumbria University. I predominantly work in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) as an interaction designer and researcher. My research addresses the significant design challenges that we face for managing identity in our everyday interactions with digital technologies and personal data. I have explored this in the context of family relationships and legacies, major life transitions, memorialisation and cultural heritage, human rights and social justice, and personal wellbeing.

I’m Principal Investigator for the EPSRC-funded project ‘INTUIT: Interaction Design for Trusted Sharing of Personal Health Data to Live Well with HIV’. INTUIT forms an interdisciplinary collaboration between five UK Universities andproject aims to address issues of trust, identity and privacy that are experienced by people living with HIV when sharing personal data with clinicians, peers, and others, for the purposes of self-managing their chronic condition. I’m also Co-I on the EPSRC-funded ‘Playing Out with IOT’ project, exploring a design space for supporting children’s creative free play outside with Internet of Things technologies. My work is grounded in co-creative, experience-centered, and research-through-design approaches, and I work closely with non-academic partners to define and conduct studies.

My Sessions