Why designers should empower communities to steward their own data.

Society if data was used for public good.

As sensing technologies and ubiquitous computing continue to make their way into public spaces, designers, civic planners, and urbanists have dared to imagine a world without traffic, where energy efficient sensors reduce our ecological footprint, and the internet is accessible to everyone (Rujan, 2018; Templeton, 2020). A world where smart lamp posts and integrated security systems mean that women never have to walk home alone in the dark, and communities are protected (Broom, 2019). What makes such a vision possible? Data.

As designers, we love to imagine this world because…


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