Designing for Food Justice with Hunger-Focused Nonprofits.

November 4th, 2013  |  Published in Projects

Research Team: Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian R. Hayes, Melissa Mazmanian

Food inequality is large social problem faced by many lower-socioeconomic individuals. As food assistance demands rise, hunger-based nonprofits struggle to help their communities fulfill local food needs. This work examines how technology can support the goals of hunger-focused nonprofits.

Novel technological systems can address large social problems and create a lens with which to examine these social problems and the role of technology in addressing these large, systemic issues. The legacy of technology design stems from the corporate workplace, but the nonprofit sector contends with different resources and constraints that have implications for how we design technological systems. Thus, we use established methods from human computer interaction, including participatory design, to engage the designer in reflective practices to better understand the goals and challenges of these nonprofits. This work seeks to understand how we can design novel information and communication systems to help these nonprofits achieve their goals of reducing the ill impacts of hunger and food insecurity in their local neighborhoods.

Related Publications Links:
Dombrowski, L., Brubaker, J., Hirano, S., Mazmanian, M., and Hayes, G.R., (2013) It takes a network to get dinner: Designing location-based systems to address local food needs. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp ’13). Zurich, Switzerland. September 8-12, 2013.

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