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Designing oppressive and libertarian interactions with the conscious body

Abstract: Human-Computer Interaction literature often includes the allegory of computers oppressing users through badly designed interfaces. Analyzing this oppression relation through the critical pedagogy of Paulo Freire, it is possible to say that computers are not oppressors, yet they can be considered oppressive if one social group is using it to oppress another. This article introduces an alternative proposal that appropriates the computer as a space of possibilities to overcome oppression relations, similarly to the Theater of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal. An experiment of critical pedagogy in Interaction Design confirmed the effectiveness human body as a fulcrum to the interaction design project and as a springboard to understanding and overcoming oppressions mediated by the computer.

Download the paper from the publisher [Portuguese]

Rodrigo Freese Gonzatto and Frederick M. C. van Amstel. 2017. Designing oppressive and libertarian interactions with the conscious body. In Proceedings of the XVI Brazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems(IHC 2017). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 22, 10 pages. DOI:

Categories: Academic Publications.

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