Workshop: Can I Know: Avatar Construction for Social Media

Email can easily be problematic in linking people. It is often misunderstood: hosts impulsive words of anger; is rapidly skimmed; or not being read at all when being saved to be read later. At the core of these problems is the misuse of the information of email messages as communication. This problematic is not confined to email; but is inherent, although more ambiguously, in the realm of social media such as facebook. Consider the whole phenomenon of cyber bullying.

Can designers create a critical link between people in the context of social media?

This workshop is an introductory design-based exploration of how this problematic can be averted or alleviated. By taking an epistemological approach, this workshop will investigate a strategy of avatar construction to create interpersonal knowledge that may be a critical step towards humanizing the context of social media to a degree in which socially recjless information and interactions are not enabled by the lack of physical presence and accompanying anonymity.

Location: Room 281, VCUQatar Building