Access and Tinkering: Designing Assistive Technologies as Political Practice

With keynotes by Aimi Hamraie (Vanderbilt) and Anne Waldschmidt (Cologne), a talk by Tomas Criado (Berlin) and an interactive maker session.

The flyer shows two abstract purple and blue coloured and transparent hands touching each other against a pink background. Inside the two hands there is a light blue glow. With black text



















By drawing on STS, Crip Technoscience (Hamraie/Fritsch 2019) and approaches from participatory design research and practice, this event discusses body-technology relations from inter-, transdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives. We argue in favor of extending the concept of materiality beyond the borders of the physical object to include practices and relations and consequently, want to question common concepts of norm, normality, and normativity. Because these notions are not only entangled with artefacts but also with their design and the practices they involve, which include bodies embedded in historical, cultural, infrastructural and institutional contexts. Thus, they can be considered situated (Haraway 1988). As a result, questions and demands for inclusion and social participation, too, become virulent (Star 2017, 1999; Winner 1980) and have been problematized as politics of assistive artefacts (Mills 2012). In sum, we propose to re/frame technology and body (differences) as interacting entities within societies.

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