Seamful Civics – The boundaries and intersections of the smart and connected community

Lecture / Panel
Open to the Public

Portrait of Christopher Le Dantec

With Dr. Christopher Le Dantec, Georgia Institute of Technology


Notions of the smart city look to mobilize information technology to increase organizational efficiency, and support new forms of community engagement through the integration and coordination enabled by civic technology. As we examine how local governments and community organizations use and adopt different computing and data infrastructures, we find that the unevenness and disjunctures that typically precede calls for additional integration and computing capacity often mark useful boundaries that preserve organizational autonomy and the opportunities for contestation in the civic milieux. In this talk, I will present the seeds of a shifting focus from the integrated connected community, to the seamful connected community, turning to the metaphor of seamful design in ubiquitous computing as a guide for rethinking how we approach design for the smart and connected community.


Dr. Christopher Le Dantec is an Associate Professor with appointments in the School of Interactive Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research is focused on the area of digital civics where he works with a range of community partners to explore new forms of civic participation and advocacy at the intersection of participatory design, digital democracy, and smart cities. He is the author of Designing Publics (2016, MIT Press).