Laura Forlano, Illinois Institute of Technology;
Megan Halpern, Michigan State University

Denver 2015: Pedagogy

As a means of engaging with the ways in which the future of work is being imagined and opening up discussions around technology, we conducted a one-day participatory design workshop that uses a game in order to reveal the philosophies embedded in labor activism and technology. The board game was designed by the authors using critical game theory and reflective design practices like cultural probes. The game was an exercise in thinking speculatively about both the past and the future. It allowed workshop participants to explore historical and present technologies, socio-economic conditions and labor realities in order to open up discussions around the way in which technologies shaped and were shaped by social, economic, political and cultural contexts. It also allowed labor activists to collaborate with scholars, designers and technologists around the creation of counterfactual histories that might allow for alternate relationships, outcomes and possibilities that might benefit workers.