Diversity Computing Spaces

Scaffolding meaningful shared experiences for diverse children in informal school settings


In increasingly pluralistic societies, the question of how we live together, avoiding destructive conflict, is arguably one of the biggest challenges of our time with some of the most prominent fault lines running along gender, ethnicity, (dis)abilities, age, political affiliation and socio-economic status. Digital technologies play key roles in framing differences and othering, i.e. the construction of social boundaries that lead to tensions, both in online and real-world contexts. This project takes a design research approach to investigate how interactive technologies can create smart, physical spaces that scaffold shared, meaningful experiences for diverse groups of people. We build on the emerging paradigm of Diversity Computing and explore it for unstructured, in-between spaces for children and young adults in educational settings, e.g. school yards, aisles, break rooms or after-school care - spaces in which diverse groups of children and young adults naturally interact and processes of othering unfold and are learnt.