Designing Technologies to Drive Curiosity
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When we think about technology mediating human interactions with data, we often think about how it improves the practices of people’s usual activities, from making them more mindful of their daily movements through step-tracking devices, to improving capabilities to make informed business decisions using data-rich analytics in a digital dashboard. This talk explores how technologies can expand people to look beyond what they usually do: how can a zoomable interface spark wonder about aquatic insects to engage non-scientists in water quality monitoring, and how can a touchscreen inspire new questions about familiar objects to foster cross-cultural dialogues? I will present multiple projects integrating interactive technologies as mediators of informal, social learning and argue for the importance of technology’s role in provoking empathy, curiosity, and engagement to drive and expand interest in unfamiliar domains.