Loneliness in the Digital Age

Senior Research Assistant - Design and Development of Digital Artefacts

My role in the LiDA project centred upon the design and production of digital artefacts in response to research findings developed from creative co-design workshops and initial prototype analysis. The digital artefacts I produced for this work centred upon facilitating peer support, empathetic and social networks through means such as asynchronous vocal forums (on-demand radio like devices with content produced by a group of users). This additionally required the design and delivery of several creative co-design workshops to produce these digital 'things' with persons of differing technological literacy. A description of this broader projects is below:

LIDA seeks to map different experiences and responses to loneliness in both online and offline environments and, through the use of co-design and creative methodologies, explore the potential for creative interventions in online environments to help manage periods of loneliness by harnessing empathy for, and with, others.

The project works with three temporarily separated or socially isolated groups:

  • carers;

  • university students; 

and;

  • telecommunications engineers who work alone and in a mobile capacity.

By engaging with members of these communities throughout as co-researchers and co-designers, this project seeks to establish new ways of using digital technology to address this emerging social issues.

LiDA also explores what commonalities these groups have in how they experience and manage moment of loneliness in their everyday lives and examines individual differences in how the home, the workplace, and the objects and people surrounding our participants influence these.

The official website for the LiDA project can be found here.

 

Video Documentation of the LiDA ChatR Device

ChatR

 

This video shows two participants from the LiDA project's informal carers participant group reflecting on the reasoning they chose to take part in the project, on their experience participating in co-design workshops, and the outcome of these engagements (the ChatR radio). 
An associated publication upon workshop findings can be found here.

kiel.long[at]northumbria.ac.uk

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©2017 by Kiel Long