Advertisement

A New Visualization Approach to Re-Contextualize Indigenous Knowledge in Rural Africa

  • Kasper Rodil
  • Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
  • Nicola J. Bidwell
  • Søren Eskildsen
  • Matthias Rehm
  • Gereon Koch Kapuire
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6947)

Abstract

Current views of sustainable development recognize the importance of accepting the Indigenous Knowledge (IK) of rural people. However, there is an increasing technological gap between Elder IK holders and the younger generation and a persistent incompatibility between IK and the values, logics and literacies embedded, and supported by ICT. Here, we present an evaluation of new technology that might bridge generations and preserve key elements of local IK in Namibia. We describe how we applied insights, generated by ethnographic, dialogical and participatory action research, in designing a structure in which users can store, organize and retrieve user-generated videos in ways that are compatible with their knowledge system. The structure embeds videos in a scenario-based 3D visualization of a rural village. It accounts for some of the ways this rural community manages information, socially, spatially and temporally and provides users with a recognizable 3D simulated environment in which to re-contextualize de-contextualized video clips. Our formative in situ evaluation of a prototype suggests the visualization is legible to community members, provokes participation in design discussions, offers opportunities for local appropriation and may facilitate knowledge sharing between IK holders and more youthful IK assimilators. Simultaneously differing interpretations of scenarios and modeled objects reveal the limitations of our modeling decisions and raises various questions regarding graphic design details and regional transferability.

Keywords

3D visualization indigenous knowledge rural Africa design 

Supplementary material

Electronic Supplementary material (15,890 KB)

References

  1. 1.
    Winschiers, H., Fendler, J.: Assumptions Considered Harmful. In: Aykin, N. (ed.) HCII 2007. LNCS, vol. 4559, pp. 452–461. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Evers, V., Hinds, P.: The Truth about Universal Design: How knowledge on basic human functions, used to inform design, differs across cultures. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Internationalisation of Products and Systems, Building Global Design Communities (July 2010)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bidwell, N.J., Browning, D.: Pursuing Genius Loci: Interaction Design And Natural Places. Pers. Ubiq. Comp. 217 (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rumble, G., Koul, B.N.: Open Schooling for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education: Costs and Effectiveness in India and Namibia. Vancouver, Commonwealth of Learning, http://www.col.org/resources/publications/consultancies/Pages/2007-07S (accessed: November 2010)
  5. 5.
    Chinn, M.D., Fairlie, R.W.: The Determinants of the Global Digital Divide A Cross-Country Analysis of Computer and Internet Penetration. Working Papers 881, Economic Growth Center, Yale University (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fuchs, C., Horak, E.: Africa and the digital divide. Telemat. Inf. 25, 99–116 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    UNESCO, International Literacy Statistics: A review of Concepts, Methodology and Current Data. Institute for Statistics, Montreal (2008), http://www.uis.unesco.org
  8. 8.
    Bidwell, N.J., Standley, P., George, T., Steffensen, V.: The Landscape’s Apprentice: Lessons for Design from Grounding Documentary. In: Proc. Designing Interactive Systems (DIS), pp. 271–280. ACM Pr., New York (2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bidwell, N.J., Browning, D.: Pursuing Genius Loci: Interaction Design And Natural Places. Pers. Ubiq. Comp. 217 (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Green, L.J.F.: Cultural heritage, archives & citizenship: reflections on using Virtual Reality for presenting knowledge diversity in the public sphere. Critical Arts 2(21), 308–320 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Taachi, J., Kirran, J.: Finding a voice: Themes & discussion. Technical report, UNESCO (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bidwell, N.J., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Koch Kapuire, G., Rehm, M.: Pushing personhood into place: Situating media in rural knowledge in Africa. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Winschiers, H., Fendler, J., Stanley, C., Joubert, D., Zimmermann, I., Mukumbira, S.: A Bush Encroachment Decision Support System’s Metamorphosis. In: Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Designing for Habitus and Habitat, Cairns, pp. 287–290. ACM, New York (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kapuire, G., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Blake, E., Bidwell, N., Chivuno-Kuria, S.: A revolution in ICT, the last hope for African Rural Communities’ technology appropriation. In: IDIA 2010, Cape Town (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Parikh, T., Ghosh, K., Chavan, A.: Design studies for a financial management system for micro-credit groups in rural India. SIGCAPH Comput. Phys. Handicap. 73-74, 15–22 (2002)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kuicheu, N.C., Fotso, L.P., Siewe, F.: Iconic communication system by XML language: (SCILX). In: Proceedings of the 2007 International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A) (W4A 2007), pp. 112–115. ACM, New York (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Brewer, J., Dourish, P.: Storied spaces: Cultural accounts of mobility, technology, and environmental knowing. Int. J of Human-Computer Studies 66(12), 963–976 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pumpa, M., Wyeld, T.G.: Database and Narratological Representation of Australian Aboriginal Knowledge as Information Visualisation using a Game Engine. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Information Visualization (IV 2006), pp. 237–244. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Turner, J., Browning, D., Bidwell, N.J.: Wanderer Beyond Gameworlds Leonardo Electronic Almanac 16(2-3), Part 1 Embodiment and Presence (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bidwell, N.J., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Koch Kapuire, G., Shilumbe Chivuno-Kuria, S.: Exploring Situated Interactions Between Audiovisual Media & African Herbal Lore. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (2010)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Winschiers, H., Bidwell, N.J., Blake, E., Chivuno-Kuria, S., Kapuire Koch, G.: Being Participated – A community approach. In: Proceedings of the 11th Participatory Design Conference, Sydney (November/December 2010)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bubenzer, O., Bollig, M., Kavari, J., Bleckmann, L.: Otjiherero praises of places collective memory embedded in landscape and the aesthetic sense of a pastoral. People Studies in Human Ecology & Adaptation 4, 473–500 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Haasbroek, J.L.: The challenges of utilizing intelligent human-computer interface technology in South Africa and other African developing countries. In: IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Chicago, vol. 1(18-21), pp. 821–826 (1992)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kasper Rodil
    • 1
  • Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
    • 2
  • Nicola J. Bidwell
    • 3
    • 4
  • Søren Eskildsen
    • 1
  • Matthias Rehm
    • 1
  • Gereon Koch Kapuire
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Design, and Media TechnologyAalborg UniversityDenmark
  2. 2.School of Information TechnologyPolytechnic of NamibiaNamibia
  3. 3.CSIR-MerakaCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchSouth Africa
  4. 4.Port Elizabeth South AfricaNelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversitySouth Africa

Personalised recommendations