Awarded 2020 AHO Works Award for Best Diploma (Thesis) Project
Exhibited at Oslo's Fotogalleriat as part of the Zines of the Zone show.
We have more ways to see data about ourselves than ever before. Self-tracking products can now tell us how well we’ve slept, how productive we’ve been, how much we’ve exercised and much more.
As self-tracking technology improves, what have we been choosing to measure? What does what we measure say about what we value?
In this thesis project, I explore the values embedded in our seemingly neutral self-tracking tools, using a process model I developed. Through a mix of design research and critical theory, I articulate a list of values or biases that underlie existing products. I find that these values, which center around individual health and optimization, ignore community health and contribute to a culture of self-perfectibility.
In order to surface and challenge these underlying, existing values, I then develop my own, oppositional list of values drawing inspiration from traditions of intersectional human-computer interaction. Using my oppositional list, I propose a set of discursive self-tracking concepts aimed at materializing unconscious, gender-based bias in the workplace. I have communicated this work through a self-published, 20-page printed booklet, an online collection of resources, and an in-person workshop with other designers.
As we are able to collect more and more data about ourselves, the question is no longer what can we measure, but what should we measure. Through this project, I engage other designers, makers and product developers in conversations around being critical of and intentional about the values that are embedded in our work.
View the full booklet here.
Full thesis report is here!