beckyh | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by beckyh

Codesign Studio: Mar 1-2 CounterSurveillance DiscoTech

Our Spring 2014 Codesign Studio ( has begun. This semester, we're experimenting with a few new pieces:

  • Surveillance theme - all of our partnerships are with partners who are organizing and creating around issues of surveillance
  • Distributed partnerships - partners this semester are not just Boston-based
  • DiscoTech/Hackathon - we're supporting a distributed DiscoTech (discovering technology) event, which is a sort of "inclusive" hackathon.


As always, our partners and students are amazing. Here's a link to the recorded live stream of all of the partner presentations.

ICU Oakland: Surveillance Camera Walking Tours and Anti-Surveillance Community Organizing

contributors: Sarah Reilly (Design Action Collective), Salima Hamirani, Jesse Strauss (Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant), Bex Hurwitz (RAD/MIT Center for Civic Media), Mark Burdett (EFF), Emi Kane (Allied Media Projects)
orig post date: Oct 2013

UPDATE: Check out Oakland Privacy Group's post for the latest about the DAC!

Surveillance Camera Map made from walking tour in Oakland CA.
Surveillance Camera Map made from walking tour in Oakland CA.


But I Have Nothing to Hide: Prism Break-Up Workshop

Contributors: Seeta Gangadharan (OTI), Becky Hurwitz, and Emi Kane (AMP, ICU).

On Oct 5, Eyebeam, an art and technology institute in New York held an event called Prism Break-Up. Spanning 3 days, Prism Break-Up brought together privacy and security advocates/researchers, techies, and artists to learn about and discuss issues of surveillance, focusing mostly on online and digital surveillance in the United States.

Value-Driven Design, a workshop!

Co-written with Willow Brugh; graphic by Willow!
link to the hackpad version of this post

When you are designing a project for social justice, where do you start?

In this workshop, we practice value-based design, a method that helps us to design for large scale social impact and to relate this directly to how we plan and implement projects. We envision the impacts we'd like to contribute to in the world and the values we bring with us into our work as the first steps in this design process. As individuals, this method helps us to express our connection to our projects on a personal level and to prevent burnout as we are able to identify work that resonates with our values and to set aside work that doesn't. As a team, this method helps us to identify shared values and to make design decisions based on our shared vision instead of personal preferences.

Project Partner Pitches for the Codesign Studio

co written by Aditi Mehta, Becky Hurwitz, Rodrigo Davies, Sasha Costanza-Chock, and Willow Brugh and cross-posted at

Today the potential project partners for the fall 2013 civic media: collaborative design studio came by to present a little bit about the work they do and the possible projects they'd like to team up on. Here's a summary of the presentations - you can see that they are all doing incredible work, and we're very excited to have the chance to collaborate with them.