Achieving Appropriate Design of Assistive Technologies in Care Contexts
Workshop Sociotechnical Systems of Care, CSCW 2018 - The 21st ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, New York City's Hudson River (Jersey City), November 1-7
This paper presents the reflection about care and caring practices in 2 research projects’ contexts: fall prevention device for elders living independently at home, social robotics in nursing homes. Apart from the care context, these projects share a design-oriented agenda of research and the adoption of a human-centred perspective and a Participatory Design approach. With the objective of achieving an “adequate design”, the studies aim at properly understanding the needs, values and experiences of the actors concerned. Together with that pragmatic perspective, the political dimension of involving stakeholders in the research process, is discussed in terms of empowerment of elders. When inquiring an object like, e.g. fall prevention, care emerges – from the actors’ perspective – as being the most important issue that cannot be dissociated from other one. The same in a nursing home: that centrality of care emerging from the needs analysis informed the design of the human-robot interaction. From these two examples, the paper discusses the insights gained, and how, from an empirical methodological posture, care emerged as the central phenomenon.