FaceSavr™

Facesavr™

With Katta Spiel

Facesavr is a fictitious project published as a satirical conference paper. It is based on the many papers about participatorily designing technologies with autistic people we have read and reviewed, as well as reflections on our own work. Its genesis was:

“I WISH SOME AUTISTIC RESEARCHERS WOULD WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT ALLISTIC PEOPLE WITH THE SAME [redacted] PATTERNS SO THEY KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE.”

me venting to Katta

Shortly thereafter, some well-meaning and entirely fictitious autistic researchers materialised and decided to create a technological solution to stop the !!!dangers!!! of shared and projected emotions (= Emotion Echolalia) among allistic (non-autistic) people, which of course are the cause of online harassment campaigns, mobs, and other terrible evils.

Oh no, everyone is feeling the same group feeling!
Facesavr can save YOU from your terrible suffering: now, everyone can experience their own emotions!

The solution is simple, elegant, and utterly useless. It is absolutely annoying. It is completely frustrating. The input of the obviously real participants (“but we don’t even want to stop sharing our emotions!”) during the participatory design workshops that very much took place was disregarded by the researchers, who, being design experts, obviously knew better anyway.

At the end of the day, everyone got to pat themselves on the shoulder for the good heroic design work they did. Well, except for the participants. But then again, they didn’t really contribute anything, did they.

Oh, hello. Looks like one happy user is creating their own rich emotional landscape!

The whole point is — yes! There is a point! You wouldn’t have thought so, would you? — That humorous reversal is a great tool to check yourself.

Anyway, enough introduction! Here’s the paper:
(you can also find it in the ACM digital library /doi/10.1145/3491101.3516383)

Yes, design, colours, items, hands on!

We’ve presented the paper in the alt.chi track of CHI’22 – I made a video for it that I’m honestly not that happy with (because well… it’s a written piece and it’s meant to be read) so I won’t link it here, but it’s in the ACM DL and you can probably find it if you search for it.