Ann Light

Professor Interaction Design, Social Change and Sustainability @ Malmö universitet

Ann Light is a design researcher interested in how people dwell together and how we might do so better. She brings these concerns to bear on how we design the culture round us, from the material culture of technology to the stories we tell about our societies and their potential. Design touches most things. It is powerful, but not well-aligned to Earth’s future needs. The conceptual, theoretical and practical work of redesigning design to be fit for a rapidly evolving planet includes many kinds of action for social change. Ann is involved in understanding the practices of neighbourhood sharing and design for culture change towards greater social sustainability as a means of adapting to and mitigating climate change, but also to acknowledge the interdependence of living things and the need for greater care.

Her background is interdisciplinary, discovering the fields of artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and participatory design after a start in drama and the humanities. (It is a privilege to be working in Scandinavia, the home of so much participatory design research.)

Over the last 20 years, Ann has been involved with participatory projects across the world to understand cultural differences, ageing well, experience with technology, and the impact of digital networks on how people live. She is a co-author of the 2015 book, Designing Connected Products (O’Reilly) and have worked with arts and grass-roots organizations and marginalized groups on five continents in local, transnational and international development settings. She has also run an international charity devoted to cultural exchange using digital media.

At Malmö University, as part of the Collaborative Future Making group, she design’s workshops to support people reflecting together on the changes that are needed and how we might make them.