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CFP // Digital Resistance: Emerging Technologies as Tools for Design Activism

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CAA 2021 CFP // Digital Resistance: Emerging Technologies as Tools for Design Activism

College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference
February 10-13, 2021  

Digital Resistance: Emerging Technologies as Tools for Design Activism

Emerging technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, and the internet of things, are quickly expanding as vehicles for design that bridge digital technology with physical experiences. Their value is regularly exploited for commercial purposes, in which digital processes are utilized to enhance the physical consumer experience and amplify brand loyalty. However, such powerful tools for design hold potential for social impact as well. Immersive digital experiences are utilized as tools for social innovation, community organizing, empathy, visualizing a more equitable world, or inserting marginalized people into spaces from which they have traditionally been excluded or erased.

This panel explores the possibilities of emerging technologies for resistance, activism, and social design. Today, designers, artists, and activists leverage the power of emerging technologies by bridging digital forms of resistance with lived experiences of oppression. What opportunities might digital experiences, embedded within social and physical spaces, provide for addressing lived experiences of injustice, inequity, and oppression? How are traditional methods for social design being applied and expanded in digital spaces? What are the ethical considerations and potential for harm that these new technologies present?
As designers and artists continue to explore new digital tools and processes, they are also increasingly expected to be held accountable for the social, political and environmental impact of their interventions. By capitalizing on the affordances of emerging technologies, they can design outcomes that address issues of systemic inequity and oppression to bridge gaps not only in our individual experiences but also in our shared humanity.


Sept. 16, 2020 
Please send proposals directly to session chairs.

Ali Place, University of Arkansas - aplace@uark.edu 
Kathy Mueller, Temple University - kmueller@temple.edu
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