The field of HCI has long recognized a socio-technical gap complicating the design of technologies that can sustainably meet social needs. In response, a growing body of research advocates for assets-based design, an approach that seeks to build upon what the individuals and community already have. The emphasis on positioning assets rather than needs at the center of the process can complicate designers’ decisions on what activities to foster, how to conduct them, and what outcomes to expect. In this talk, I reflect on my assets-based design journey working with diverse Latin* communities in the city of Atlanta, in the U.S., designing parent-education ICTs that recognize Latin* immigrant parents’ practices and knowledge as critical strengths or assets and support them. In particular, I explore what assets-based design entails for participants and designers, including the methodological commitments and changes of perspective around work, technology’s role, and transformation that it requires.
Marisol Wong-Villacres is an Associate Professor at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral in Ecuador. She explores how cultural and learning science theories can inform an assets-based participatory design of technologies that support historically marginalized groups, such as immigrant parents from developing regions, in pursuing sustainable, emancipatory transformations.