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Sean Munson

Autumn 2022

Speculative Engagements with Post-mortem Digital Legacies

Led by: Samuel So, PhD student (HCDE)
With guidance from faculty advisor, Sean Munson (HCDE)

Note this DRG is at capacity for autumn quarter and no longer accepting applications.


Personal data play increasingly prominent roles in everyday life, as people continue to produce, share, and manage their data in the form of photos, texts, documents, and other digital media. But what happens to our data after we die? And how will this data be used to remember, commemorate, and honor our lives? In this 2-3 credit DRG, we will investigate the relationships between personal data, identity/self-concept, and post-mortem digital legacies. This research project engages adult dyads who trust each other (e.g., close friends, family members, intimate partners) in a speculative co-design exercise about their post-mortem digital legacies. DRG students will facilitate co-design activities and qualitatively analyze interview and observational data gathered from sessions.

We are looking for:

  • 3-4 undergraduate or graduate students (BS, MS, or PhD).
  • Folks with interviewing or qualitative coding experience (either in a research project or qualitative methods course)
  • Interest in or experience with co-design, speculative design, and/or personal data research

DRG Format and Expectations:

  • Attend 1 hour weekly meetings (dates/time TBD)
  • Around weeks 3-9, attend one study session per week (1.5-2 hours)
  • Work on the DRG outside of scheduled meeting times, 3 hours per credit.
  • Graded credit/no-credit for 2-3 total credits. (e.g., 3 hours of meetings/study sessions + 6 hours of outside work = 3 CR)

Students in the DRG will:

  • Assist with scheduling and running co-design sessions (either in-person or hybrid)
  • Transcribe interview and observational data from study sessions
  • Collaborate on data analysis through qualitative coding process

Applications to this DRG are now closed.

Dr. Munson's Research Group archive