Smart Technologies, Empowered Citizens?


             

With the Citizen Data Lab, we participate in NWO-funded project Smart Technologies Empowered Citizens (STEC), headed by Professor Ben Schouten of Eindhoven Technical University and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. STEC focuses on how to use design to empower citizens so that they are able to act and choose for themselves in a series of different domains. By doing so, STEC adds to the growing body of research and examples of citizens shaping their own lives, using what might be called civic media.

In our contribution to the project we take a closer look at the various already available tools for Citizen Empowerment. We want to understand what types of tools are already out there, such as an online platforms, games or apps, find best practices, and investigate how such tools are theorised.

We also zoom into existing platforms developed by partners of the STEC project, such as TransformCity and Crowdbuilding. In workhops with these partners, we map out how the platforms currently present themselves to their users, and discuss how this relates to the design and functionalities available in their tool and the values that underpin their platforms. The outcomes of these workshops are input for students of TU Eindhoven and the AUAS Master in Digital Design, who will work on re-designs of the platforms that further harness the empowerment of its users.