Call for Participation

Designing Against the Status Quo is a one-day workshop to be held on 5 June 2016 in conjunction with Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2016, 4-8 June 2016, Brisbane, Australia.

In this one-day workshop, we interrogate design strategies such as troubling, friction, queering, and contestation that aim to question the status quo (e.g., Light 2011, Korn and Voida 2015, DiSalvo 2011). In ways that are playful, heretical, theoretical, and applied we examine tactics that make space for alternative values to emerge in everyday life. As we design interactive systems that, on the one hand, seek to be accountable in responding to current and future societal challenges, and, on the other, are becoming ever more complex, we ask what trends in destabilizing and rethinking may help us innovate in both method and outcome.

In contrast to user-centered design that aims to make life easier and smooth over apparent gaps and problems in everyday routines, turbulent approaches to design aim to generate friction as a way of drawing attention to invisible infrastructures or disrupting the status quo in the everyday. Rather than trying to neatly diagnose problems and then propose the correct kind of change/solution in advance, tactics of troubling or creating friction aim to intervene indeterminately in complex situations and create space for alternative values to emerge. Instead of promoting stability, they emphasize a livedness to design work, research, and computational artifacts. They “make a space for flexible interactions of the future, rather than stipulate a desired outcome in societal terms” (Light 2011). How might we best engage the possibilities of an indirect troubling in our research and design endeavors?

We invite 2-4 page position papers from practitioners and researchers. Key topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Provisional elaborations: What does it mean to orient toward design from a perspective of troubling and/or creating friction? What are we turning toward in making such moves? From what are we turning away? Why (when, how) are these techniques needed or useful or generative – or not?
  • Bibliographies and theoretical provocations: Discussions of relevant readings and theoretical resources; theoretical provocations about design strategies for troubling, creating friction, provoking contest; accounts participants’ intellectual genealogies — how did you come upon strategies of troubling, friction, or contest in your work?
  • Examples and cases: Objects and artifacts that embody troubling or friction; methods and tactics for troubling or friction; empirical cases, attempts, and outcomes of troubling or friction at play; we are especially interested in examining how such orientations and tactics might be taken up in the work of creating everyday and mundane technologies in addition to more artistic projects.
  • Re-inventions and re-imaginings: Re-readings of already existing design papers and projects for what is not mentioned, asked, or oriented to.
  • Opportunities and open questions: Provocations for future work. What is apparent as missing in the elaboration, bibliography, and cases surfaced and shared at the workshop? Where is new work needed? What are some domains in which this approach could be generative? What are some elements of a research agenda moving forward?

Submission Details

Submissions may be prepared in a format of the authors choosing, and should be approximately 2-4 pages in length. If you would like a template to start from, feel free to use the ACM SIGCHI Extended Abstracts format (including the image-centric Pictorials variation). We also invite other submission formats that embody subversions – of which we cannot (of course) conceive in advance. Ideally all submissions should be in a form that allows sharing via this website in advance of the workshop itself.

Please email submissions to the organizers at

If you would like notification in advance of the DIS early registration deadline, then your submission of a 500-word abstract must be received by Wednesday 13 April 2016 (full contributions through 30 May). We will select participants based on their submission’s relevance to the workshop themes, and will send out acceptance notifications on Friday 15 April 2016.

Depending on the number of first round acceptances, and the space constraints of the venue, we may continue to to make rolling acceptances through Monday 30 May 2016 for anyone less likely to be organized-two-months-in-advance.