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Robert Collins

Robert Collins is investigating Agonistic Design as a way to exist with and have ongoing agency over AI and algorithmic decision systems.

Works at

Doctoral student at Umeå Institute of Design (UID)

This project is about the challenges involved in making it possible for people to contextualise and negotiate a data-driven system’s response to users’ actions (“response-ability”) in and through use. In this project we explore what features, mechanisms and techniques need to be designed and implemented in the front-end for users to understand, contest and possibly repair inappropriate actions by algorithmic decision systems.

Taking inspirations from his own background in art, design, repair and maintenance, Robert is exploring new forms of design involving shared responsibilities, the instincts of the repairer, the maintainer and the fixer, and community-based initiatives to imagine an agonistic design space for all stakeholders involved in our entanglements with technology. 

The Contestation Café


International Journal of Design, Vol. 18, (1)
Collins, Robert; Redström, Johan; Rozendaal, Marco
Nordes 2023, The 10th Nordic Design Research Society (Nordes) Conference, Norrköping, Sweden, June 12-14, 2023.
Collins, Robert
6th Nordic STS Conference 2023, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, June 7-9, 2023
Collins, Robert
DIS '23:: Proceedings of the 2023 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, ACM Digital Library 2023 : 1660-1675
Rattay, Sonja; Collins, Robert; Surana, Aditi; et al.
Proceedings of the 12th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI’22): Participative Computing for Sustainable Futures
Collins, Robert; Redström, Johan

Research projects

1 June 2021 until 1 June 2025