So how should researchers operationalize intersectionality in the context of HCI? Start by asking a series of questions: Are you thinking about everyone as you design this tool? Who is at the table to inform decisions about how this technology will be designed and for whom? Do the key stakeholders, intended users, and communities in which the technology is being situated for use reflect the diversity of humanity and respect for those who have a history of being disenfranchised and marginalized? How have I, as a person of privilege, co-constructed research engagements with marginalized scholars or communities? Am I conducting research on or with participants? In what ways have I interrogated my privilege (e.g., race or gender) to dismantle hegemonic systems of oppression that exist within HCI? Next, when summarizing findings in papers, be sure to include how power informs the research process. Scholars who use their findings to address intersectionality interrogate how widely accepted research traditions facilitate the social reproduction of whiteness.
The Touchless.Design project is under development to create tools and techniques to aid in the creation of safe, touchless interactive exhibits. Touchless.Design will host a collection of open-source software, design approaches, hardware information, and other resources. These resources will be freely available to museums, libraries, cultural organizations, and other public institutions. This project is organized by Ideum, a vendor that provides multitouch tables and displays, and previously worked to develop Omeka Everywhere.
Another opportunity is for PD to engage the more overtly political approaches to design that have emerged in HCI in recent years: Feminist HCI, postcolonial computing, and participatory action research all come to mind. Each of these foregrounds social conflict as a condition of computing, and each features sophisticated theories of power, participation, and intervention. Yet none of them have as yet been developed specifically as design methodologies. In the special issue, Shaowen Bardzell proposes that political approaches to HCI and PD can support each other: Political theory can strengthen PD’s commitments to engaging social conflict, while PD offers mature design methods, often lacking in feminist and postcolonial theory. In this way, political approaches to systems development would gain tactics of intervention that are both accepted in industry and also well suited to sociotechnical infrastructures and processes of development, while PD would be enriched by new developments in critical and political theory, helping it adapt to new situations.