Research

Daniela Rosner

Spring 2019

Figure and Ground: Amplifying the Public Imagination of the Central Area

Note: enrollment in this DRG is at capacity for Spring 2019

This quarter-long directed research group aims to develop tools and projects that elevate the under-recognized stories, experiences, and histories of the historically Black Central Area. In the context of decades of disinvestment and current development-driven displacement, Central Area organizations, activists, and residents are engaged in a process of imagining ‘Africatown,’ a vision of the neighborhood as a place where a multiplicity of black life and cultural expression thrives. Drawing from a diversity of theoretical perspectives, including cultural geography, theories of black space, urban studies, and critical race studies, we use a hands-on, empirically-informed research and making practice to nourish a project of self-determination and imagination. Through design we elevate the legacies of innovation and community-building within the Central Area by inverting the valorized figures of contemporary urban development with the stories selectively rendered as (back)ground. Expected products include both concrete tools and interpretive reflections. 

Further Reading

+  Taylor, Quintard. The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era. University of Washington Press, 2011.
+  Fullilove, M.T., 2001. Root shock: the consequences of African American dispossession. Journal of Urban Health, 78(1), pp.72-80.
+  Africatown Design Weekend
+  africatownseattle.com
+  Tran O'Leary, Jasper, et al. Who Gets to Future? Race, Representation, and Design Methods in Africatown. To appear in Proceedings of Conference on Human-Factors in Computing (CHI'19) 

Related Press

$82.5K grant will help Africatown continue Midtown Center art and activation project, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog 
+  Midtown: Public Square kicked back in review process as board says plan for community art not enough, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog 
+  Midtown design looks too much like SoLU, not enough like the CD — Can new Central Area Design Review Board help?, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog 
+  In Seattle’s Central District, residents, artists imagine a 'parallel universe,' Seattle Times

Required Availability

+  Register for 2 to 3 credits for spring quarter. Indicate availability for additional quarters (not required).
+  Meet for 1-2 hours each week.
+  Work 4 to 6 hours each week outside of meetings.

How to Apply

We seek an engaged, interdisciplinary group of scholars, activists, and makers. Note: enrollment in this DRG is at capacity for Spring 2019.


Spring 2019

The internet of evocative objects: a deployment of public IoTs

Note: enrollment in this DRG is at capacity for Spring 2019

This DRG will examine how Internet of Things (IoT) devices installed within public settings might contribute to the coordinated work of resource distribution and broad public hygiene infrastructure. We will test, deploy, and trace interactions with a set of networked devices built to support the circulation of menstrual resources (e.g., pads and tampons) within public restrooms at the Seattle Public Library. In doing so, we seek to understand how maintenance staff and patrons care for or access public health resources through public IoT. In addition to collecting numerical data through the IoT devices (e.g. product levels), we will draw on qualitative research methods of participant observation and ethnographic interviewing to further understand how maintenance staff and members of the public relate to and interpret IoT installations. To circulate this research to the broader public, participants of this DRG will develop a website to document and share the IoT designs for download, as well as short accounts of qualitative research findings.

We welcome applicants with interests in qualitative research and/or strong backgrounds in physical computing. Participants will be expected to commit 6 hours per week, enrolling in two units of credit.

The group will be comprised of 3-5 DRG participants, and co-led by PhD students Brian Kinnee and Rafael Silva, UCSD Postdoctoral Fellow Sarah Fox, and faculty member Daniela Rosner.  

Note: enrollment in this DRG is at capacity for Spring 2019.


Dr. Rosner's Research Group archive