Designing in Sensitive Settings: Workshops to Design a Technology to Commemorate Black Saturday

Joji Mori, Steve Howard and Martin Gibbs

There is growing interest in the design of interactive technologies in sensitive settings. In designing for people in these settings it is likely researchers and designers will hear people discuss deeply personal and potentially emotional topics. We have completed design workshops with survivors of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria. Participants were asked to come up with design ideas for technology concepts to be used for commemorating the bushfires, and also provide feedback on prototypes we created using tablet computers. Our findings indicate that peer groups, mediated with a traditional craft activity provided a setting for participants to discuss emotional topics amongst supportive and similarly affected peers in the design workshops. We conclude with considerations germane to these types of workshops in sensitive settings.