GVU Brown Bag: Christopher Le Dantec

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday January 20, 2011
      11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Location: TSRB 132
  • Phone:
  • URL: http://www.gvu.gatech.edu
  • Email:
  • Fee(s):
  • Extras:
No contact information submitted.

Summary Sentence: Community Resource Messenger: Exploring Mobile Technologies for the Urban Homeless.

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.


In the U.S., as in other Western nations, new forms of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are rapidly changing how we interact with each other. On one hand, ICTs have enabled us to develop and recognize new forms of community that are divorced from traditional geographic and familial constraints. On the other, ICTs have helped existing communities, from close knit social groups to individuals who merely co-habit public spaces, to interact with each other in novel ways. Simply put, access to computers, to mobile phones, and to data connectivity has opened new avenues of interaction and experience and at the same time created expectations about the flattening of society through access to information. This notion that modern digital technology holds promises of democratization via information and of enabling new and meaningful social interactions fails to acknowledge that the realization of these benefits relies upon devices and infrastructure whose availability reflect socioeconomic contours; that the technologies that enable information access can also reinforce rather than obviate marginality due to barriers to access and suitability. This assessment points to opportunities for better understanding and better designing technologies for the "uncommon" user—the urban homeless.

This research focuses on the urban homeless in order to explore issues around how ICTs might be productively deployed within social contexts where technology is not normally seen as a first order concern. It seeks to address the ways mobile technologies may empower the urban homeless, and how such technologies impact their ability to utilize social services, establish stability, and interact as socially legitimate individuals within the broader urban community. While this work is highly contextualized within the realm of urban homelessness, it provides a local perspective on global technology user where print and technical literacy, practical access to infrastructure (data and power), and differences in social custom and values inform how different technologies are, or are not, adopted.

Bio: Christopher Le Dantec is a Ph.D. candidate in the Human-Centered Computing program at Georgia Tech, a Microsoft Graduate Fellow, and former Foley Scholar. He is advised by Keith Edwards. His research takes aim at how marginalized communities like the urban homeless are affected by social change inherent in the adoption of new technologies. His work looks at the institutional and personal implications of mobile information technologies on the urban homeless and the organizations upon which they depend. His work engages the economic, organizational, and practical constraints in an environment of extremes in order develop and better understand the impact of information technologies on the provision of social services on the lives of homeless families seeking aid. Prior to Georgia Tech, he was an interaction designer with Sun Microsystems and helped establish its interaction design practice in the Czech Republic.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Digital Lounge - Digital Life, Digital Lounge - Health and Education, Digital Lounge, GVU Center

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brown bag, GVU, hcc, HCI, homeless
  • Created By: Renata Le Dantec
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jan 13, 2011 - 11:57am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:53pm