DI Webinar – Design Informatics Webinar – Karey Helms, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Careful Designs in More-than-human Worlds

The design of technology is seen to contribute to worlds in crisis. Pathways towards more ecologically and social just futures include not only designing change, but also considering how to change designing. In this presentation, I explore designing with care as a critical and speculative practice of how design might be otherwise. I first situate my worldview by drawing upon care ethics and posthumanism that recognizes the potential of care as transformative and troubling, and that accentuates more-than-human interdependency and involvement. From this perspective, I then present four examples of what careful designs in more-than-human worlds might be like. These include designing within intimate settings of care that accentuate more-than-human entanglements and everyday survival: spying on loved ones, technology to manage human waste, designing with leaky breastfeeding bodies, and scaling bodily fluids for utopian fabulations. Though these I draw attention to deliberate moments of centering myself, approaching care as spatial, and cultivating generosity in design.


Karey is an interaction designer and PhD student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Through autobiographic and speculative design methods, she draws upon care ethics, queer theories, and more-than-human design to implicate herself and unsettle bodily boundaries for a more careful design of technology. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Interaction Design from Umeå Institute of Design, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked in industry as an Interaction and Service Designer within enterprise IoT.

Website: https://www.kareyhelms.com/
Twitter: @kareyhelms