Engaging Community … Through Technology

This semester at MIT I am taking a class titled “Engaging Community: Models and Methods for Designers and Planners.” It is co-taught by Ceasar McDowell, and Anne Spirn.

The course is organized around several “approaches” to working with communities: advocacy, participatory design, consensus building, community organizing, and capacity and knowledge building. Many of the class materials appear on the course website, including the reading list which is a good introduction to these topics. In addition, the site hosts dozens of posts from the class participants analyzing the readings and issues discussed.

In addition to the discussion, small groups were asked to develop reports describing the history and theory of each approach. Instead of focusing on one of the approaches, fellow PhD student David Lee and I decided to focus on the issues of media and technology. In the report we discuss how technology can enhance or modify the existing models, and also consider in what ways technology shifts the nature of social behavior and organizations in general. It is posted online here – let us know your thoughts:
> Engaging Community: Media and Technology

Author: Rob Goodspeed