Becoming Interdisciplinary: Fostering Critical Engagement With Disaster Data

TitleBecoming Interdisciplinary: Fostering Critical Engagement With Disaster Data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsSoden R, Lallemant D, Hamel P, Barns K
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Date Published04/2021
Other NumbersArticle number: 168

ICTs such as mapping platforms, algorithms, and databases are a central component of how society responds to the threats posed by disasters. However, these systems have come under increasing criticism in recent years for prioritizing technical disciplines over insights from the humanities and social science and failing to adequately incorporate the perspectives of at-risk or affected communities. This paper describes a unique month-long workshop that convened interdisciplinary experts to collaborate on projects related to flood data. In addition to findings about the practical accomplishment of interdisciplinary collaboration, we offer three interrelated contributions. First, we position interdisciplinarity as a critical practice and offer a detailed example of how we staged this process. We then discuss the benefits to interdisciplinarity of expanding the range of temporal logics normally deployed in design workshops. Finally, we reflect on approaches to evaluating the event's contributions toward sustained critique and reform of expert practice.