This collaborative research explores discrepancies between the founding assumptions of mobile and ubiquitous computing in the western world, and the starkly different experiences of mobility and infrastructure to be found in many post-colonial environments. Based on a field study of forced mobility and technology use among populations displaced by the Hatirjheel waterfront development project in Dhaka, Bangladesh, we make two basic arguments. First, we point to the partial nature of assumptions around mobility that frame the imagination of mainstream HCI research, and argue that different and heretofore residual experiences of mobility must also be accounted for in post-colonial and other marginal computing environments. Second, we document four forms of infrastructural experience -- dispossession, reconstitution, collaboration, and repair -- that characterize real-world engagements with infrastructure in such settings. We conclude with implications for HCI research and design, and reflections on how HCI researchers might better account for such experiences in their work.
Publication: Ahmed, Syed Ishtiaque, Nusrat Jahan Mim, and Steven J. Jackson. "Residual mobilities: infrastructural displacement and post-colonial computing in Bangladesh." Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2015.