Christina Harrington - Considering Design’s Role in Health Equity and Access Among Marginalized Populations

Speaker: Christina Harrington , Carnegie Mellon

Date: Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes


Event Type: Seminar

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Host: Crystal Lee

Contact: Cynthia Rosenthal,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Christina Harrington - Considering Design’s Role in Health Equity and Access Among Marginalized Populations

Smart and intelligent systems have the opportunity to be more accessible ways of interacting with information online. Particularly, these systems have the ability to address issues of health equity that impact many marginalized groups. Research on the use of intelligent systems among these populations is growing, however most findings suggest that racial disparities exist within current intelligent technologies. Scholars have begun to call for a more intersectional framing of marginalized communities' experiences with technology, suggesting a need to understand the impacts of both race, age, and cultural background on how intelligent systems are conceptualized and understood. For example, when investigating the intersection between age and race, researchers have found that Black older adults perceive smart technologies such as voice assistants to be inequitable and not designed with them in mind. My research looks at how we can consider aspects of cultural identity in how people conceptualize intelligent technologies for health and wellness. Through a community-based participatory research approach and co-design methods, I explore questions like "How do individuals from marginalized communities conceptualize intelligent systems in regard to personal health and wellness?" and "How do we consider constructs of identity in the research we conduct on health technologies?". I'll discuss these questions as well as equitable considerations for community-based research with historically marginalized groups in HCI and design.

Dr. Christina N. Harrington (she/her) is a designer and qualitative researcher who works at the intersection of interaction design and health and racial equity. She combines her background in electrical engineering and industrial design to focus on the areas of universal, accessible, and inclusive design. Specifically, she looks at how to use design in the development of products to support historically excluded groups such as Black communities, older adults, and individuals with differing abilities in maintaining their health, wellness, and autonomy in defining their future. Christina is passionate about centering communities that have historically been at the margins of mainstream design. She looks to methods such as design justice and community collectivism to broaden and amplify participation in design by addressing the barriers that corporate approaches have placed on our ability to see design as a universal language of communication and knowledge. Dr. Harrington is currently an assistant professor in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University where she is also the Director of the Equity and Health Innovations Design Research Lab.

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Created by Cynthia Rosenthal Email at Wednesday, April 03, 2024 at 12:41 PM.