Humane Tech Design Studios
We found how to work from home, together.
The Lincoln Center team created Humane Tech Design Studios; events that bring together academics, technologists and changemakers to collaborate on the problems brought on by new technologies and intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as screen addiction, Zoom exhaustion, misinformation and lost intimacy. The events create space for participants to reflect, imagine and co-create steps forward to attain the best lives we can.
Each studio includes two to three movements where participants start with divergent thinking, move to convergent thinking, and activate those insights in the final movement. To activate, participants used their shared understanding to collaborate on larger, thematic questions aimed to improve their present lives and future.
Previous Design Studios
Host Jen Clifton, Project Coordinator of Research at ASU Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, co-lead the first iteration of our Humane Tech Design Studios with our Lincoln Center team back in 2020.
Our first studio on Home lead participants to share about how their relationships to home had changed due to the pandemic; sharing stories and empathy with one another.
Future of Work
Katina Michael, director of the Society Policy Engineering Collective at Arizona State University, hosted a round of design studios on the “Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier” on Feb. 25 and March 18, 2021.
Participants cataloged how increased reliance on technology during the pandemic altered their and others’ experiences of work — and how we as a society may change if we continue in this direction of unchecked technological integration and reliance.
Misfits: Disabilities, Bodies, and Work
The third round of humane tech design studios, titled “Misfits: (Dis)Ability, Bodies, and Work,” was hosted by Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, professor emeritus of English and bioethics at Emory University, on April 8 and April 22, 2021.
She focused on storytelling and creating space for participants to explore how their bodies have reacted to the physical and emotional demands of work-life during the pandemic. When it came to sharing how their bodies felt working from home, many participants expressed physical discomfort, such as back and neck pain.
Brokenness/Repair: Archive for a Mended Future
These design studios were hosted by Purdom Linblad, Assistant Director of Innovation and Learning at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.
In this design studio, the host set the stage for story telling participants were asked "What do you not want to forget about the previous design studios, in the context of ‘reparative archives’?" Participants were then asked to share stories from the past year of experiences from the pandemic they did not want to forget and wanted to remember and learn from.
Irasema Coronado, director and professor of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University, hosted the most recent design studio on Mending. As we began to imagine what our reparative archive and its toolkit might look like, we decided to pause and “question the question”—in short, instead of designing a mending kit, we first needed to consider: “What does it mean to mend?”
All That We Share
Lincoln Center Affiliate Tamara Christensen, founder of the Idea Farm Co-op and author of F-ing Innovation: Why innovation is hard and what to do about it, hosted a design studio in September of 2022, titled "All That We Share".
Participants reflected on their own self-reported data to identify groups with shared experiences, discuss unmet wants and needs and determine ways in which we might address these desires in a positive, imaginative framework.