Glocal Challenges in Digitally-Mediated Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Documentation: Configuring a Research Agenda

During 2017-18 at the Hilali Network, we have been concentrating in tackling long-standing challenges in a manifold of interrelated fields: higher education, technology design and intangible cultural heritage (ICH). In this endeavour, our approach is focused on finding a common thread in the latest developments in these disciplines to select effective methodologies and principles for safeguarding living cultural heritage via design in higher education. This working paper outlines our work in digitally-mediated ICH documentation and guidelines for engagement and technology design dimensions for a future research agenda. Read our working paper.

In the Eye of the Student: “An Intangible Cultural Heritage Experience, with a Human-Computer Interaction Twist”

We critically engage with CHI communities emerging outside the global North (ArabHCI and AfriCHI) to explore how participation is configured and enacted within socio-cultural and political contexts fundamentally different from Western societies. We contribute to recent discussions about postcolonialism and decolonization of HCI by focusing on non-Western future technology designers. Our lens was a course designed to engage Egyptian students with a local yet culturally-distant community to design applications for documenting intangible heritage. Through an action research, the instructors reflect on selected students’ activities. Despite deploying a flexible learning curriculum that encourages greater autonomy, the students perceived themselves with less agency than other institutional stakeholders involved in the project. Further, some of them struggled to empathize with the community as the impact of the cultural differences on configuring participation was profound. We discuss the implications of the findings on HCI education and in international cross-cultural design projects. Watch on YouTube or Read:  In the Eye of the Student: “An Intangible Cultural Heritage Experience, with a Human-Computer Interaction Twist”

A tent, a pigeon house, and a pomegranate tree

After the 2011 revolution, Egypt faced a challenging socioeconomic transition. Since then, the ICT sector has become one of the promising contributors to Egypt’s economic growth. In 2014, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology announced the Social Responsibility Strategy in ICT, with an inclusive vision for using technology to integrate different societal groups to achieve equality, prosperity, and social stability. Such goals demand that technology professionals be equipped with user-centered skills to design for groups with various socioeconomic backgrounds. Read more…

Advancing HCI Education in Egypt: Exploring Lived Cultural Heritage Through Design

Hilali network logo

We present the Hilali Network, a transnational collaboration which transcends geographic and conceptual borders to merge current reform in Egyptian higher education and local community-led digital preservation and protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The project aims at developing an Egyptian HCI living curriculum, in the first instance with a focus on intangible cultural heritage, in partnership with established Higher Education and HCI institutes in UK. An outline for the project activities is described. Further, a call for participation in the project advisory group is presented to the wider HCI community. Advancing HCI Education in Egypt: Exploring Lived Cultural Heritage Through Design

HCI Living Curriculum: Perspectives from the Egyptian Context

This paper describes Dr Shaimaa Lazem’s (Hilali Lead in Egypt) experience of teaching HCI for Engineering students in Alexandria University, Egypt, highlighting some of the cultural and institutional challenges. It further presents an ongoing effort for developing an Egyptian HCI living curriculum in partnership with established Higher Education and HCI institutes in UK. We discuss the relevance of this partnership in overcoming some of the cultural challenges for introducing HCI in the Egyptian context. The characteristics, pedagogical, and technological support of the proposed curriculum are discussed. HCI Living Curriculum: Perspectives from the Egyptian Context.