The Neighborhood Networks project combines participatory design, community arts, informal learning, and engineering to discover and articulate how communities use, or might use, robotic and sensing technologies.
The Neighborhood Networks project is an ongoing series of public participatory design workshops that provide opportunities for neighborhood residents to engage in the creative exploration and application of robotics and sensing technologies in the context of neighborhood activism. As part of this effort, we are also developing affordable technology platforms suited to these public programs, an example of which is The Canary: a low-cost, simple-to-use platform for constructing environmentally reactive works of art and design. To ensure that the technologies themselves do not determine the workshop agendas, we work to develop strong ties to neighborhood residents, organizations, and issues and to develop a rich understanding of the social, material, and political conditions of the neighborhoods in which these workshops are held.
The University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE) is our partner in the Neighborhood Networks program, providing guidance and support in the community outreach, program development, and evaluation. The Neighborhood Networks - UPCLOSE team is lead by Senior Researcher and Designer Marti Louw.
This project is made possible by a generous grant from Intel Research.
The Neighborhood Networks project would not be possible without close collaboration with community groups and organizations.
The following have been instrumental in helping us develop our program: