I'm a Digital Media Specialist at The University of Melbourne and Science Gallery Melbourne. I have a keen interest in investigating democratic use of technology in public space. I conduct design research to uncover the design parameters that stimulate activation, participation and engagement with technology, particularly media architecture and immersive interactive spaces.
The current global refugee crisis creates novel opportunities for technology to support interaction between refugees and members of their host communities. In this paper, we describe the design and evaluation of Stories of Exile, an interactive media architecture installation that depicted the displacement of refugees onto the facade of a refugee shelter. We report on the involvement of refugees in a participatory design process and the subsequent in-the-wild field study.
Our analysis indicates the potential of employing media architecture as a socially relevant medium, but also illustrates how context raises new challenges for media architecture in terms of adhering to the norms and expectations of those involved, such as refugees and local citizens. We also reveal how participatory design with refugees challenges the researcher, particularly in terms of methodological flexibility.