Paper published in conference proceedings
Roberto Cibin, Sarah Robinson, Nicola J. Bidwell, Conor Linehan, Laura Maye, Nadia Pantidi, Maurizio Teli. 2021. „Land, Water and Sun: Tuning into Socio-Ecological Relations in Radio Design.“ DIS '21: Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021. ACM. Available from:

Recent HCI scholarship has critiqued anthropocentrism in design as contributing to the ecological crisis. The current paper contributes theoretically and empirically to this area, adopting the lens of Socio-Ecological Relations, inspired by Environmental History and STS. We argue that a socio-ecological lens can offer practical tools to HCI and Interaction Design to overcome the separation between humanity and nature-as-a-resource. For this reason, our unit of analysis is humanity-in-nature and nature-in-humanity, and we show how this double internality becomes visible using an historical and geographical approach in the design process. Methodologically, using Situational Analysis, we analyse an Action Research project that introduced a digital platform for community radio in rural contexts. We find that Socio-Ecological Relations, performed in specific places, shape the design process and are themselves transformed by becoming part of it. We provide a set of sensitivities for operationalizing this approach for design researchers.


urban and rural studies
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