KMD2004H Knowledge Media, Culture & Society

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The widespread development and implementation of new technologies is frequently disruptive or controversial as they stabilize into dominant designs. This course examines controversial contemporary technologies and their contexts by explicitly challenging the notion of ‘social impacts of technology’. The class instead focuses on the development of technologies as a complex socio-technical phenomenon with multiple stakeholders. Drawing specifically on the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) we will consider a more nuanced conceptual apparatus for the design and deployment of new technologies.

The lecture component of the class will focus on selected emerging technologies that are still in their formative stages and the subject of public controversies including: biometric identification, face recognition, Radio Frequency ID tags (RFID), video surveillance, work place monitoring, etc. The design component of the course, will first challenge students to in small groups to revision augmented performance space using contemporary disruptive technologies; then the class will work as a whole to develop and prototype either one or multiple ideas from the first half of the course. More information.