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Informed Experiences, Designing Consent

Designs, whether implicitly or explicitly, cite core values that drive their development and marketing. Efficiency and profit are two common principles that push design. 

Informed Experiences, Designing Consent offers a space to consider centering consent as a core value of design. We invite creative individuals, researchers, ethicists, and designers, especially those with burning questions, critical theories, and insightful projects about design practices and consent, to join us for this one-day event on April 6, 2019 at Illinois Tech’s Downtown Campus (565 W. Adams). While we are talking about design and consent, we welcome people working on theoretical, reflective, and reception/audience perspectives of these concepts and encourage interested people to register for this event! 

This symposium will use a “Learn, Make, Reflect” Model to interrogate the intersections of consent and design of interactive media and technologies. Here, we use panels, workshops, and discussion for attendees to prototype designs that center on consent and iterate on this process. We will provide simple prototyping materials for groups to collaborate on exploring the intersections of theory and practice in our maker-sessions.

Participants who complete the symposium may request a certificate of completion which recognizes their participation in this event.

Informed Experiences, Designing Consent is hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions and the HASTAC Scholars fellowship program. It is organized by Michael Anthony DeAnda, Elisabeth Hildt, Kelly Laas, and Leilasadat Mirghaderi with generous sponsorship from the Coleman Foundation.


The event will be held at:

Illinois Tech Downtown Campus
565 W Adams
Chicago, IL 60661

This building is accessible for people with dissabilities: entrances to the building include both revolving and push to open doors, elevators on the east side of the building serve all floors, and the door frames are wide enough to allow wheelchairs through.


8:30 AM - 9:00 AM | Registration

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM | Opening Notes

Elisabeth Hildt, Illinois Institute of Technology
Michael Anthony DeAnda, Illinois Institute of Technology

9:20 AM - 10:35 AM | Panel 1

“Changing Perspectives: Toward an understanding of transparency and consent in the virtual domain”
John Cain, Illinois Institute of Technology
Christine Miller, Illinois Institute of Technology 
Ruth Schmidt, 
Illinois Institute of Technology 

“This is Not Consent: Genre Recognition, Communication, and Critical Consent in ARGs”
Daniel Lipson, Independent Scholar; Making Right Choices

“How to design meaningful consent through a mental health chatbot?”
Camille Vezy, University of Montreal

“Designing Passivity”
Peter McDonald, DePaul University

"Robots as Subjects of Research and Development"
Monika Sziron, Illinois Institute of Technology

“phonelovesyoutoo: smartphones, intimacy, and surveillance”
Kate Hollenbach, DePaul University

10:35 AM - 10:45 AM | Break

10:45 AM - 12 PM | Design Session 1

12 PM - 1:20 PM | Reflection & Lunch

1:20 PM - 2:35 PM | Panel 2

“Consent in AI-coaches”
Cansu Canca, Director at AI Ethics Lab

“Consent as Disruption: the Social Contract in the Classroom and the Crowd”
Spencer Keralis, Digital Frontiers; University of North Texas

“Online Monetization: Eat and be Eaten”
Timothy Ayodele, Northrop Grumman

“Digital Technologies of Consent and Control”
Josef Nguyen, The University of Texas at Dallas

“From Prototype to Market”
Nik Rokop, IIT

2:35 PM - 2:45 PM | Break

2:45 PM - 4 PM | Design Session 2

4 PM - 5 PM | Reflection


You may register for Informed Experience, Designing Consent on Eventbrite before April 2, 2019.

Registration fees help cover the price of food and prototyping materials for participants, and are as follows:

  • Faculty, staff, practitioners, researchers, and working professionals: $15
  • Students (undergraduate and graduate students): $7.50
  • Free for Illinois Tech community members using a current Illinois Tech email address, but registration is still required.

Please indicate which prototyping session you would like to attend. We will organize registrants into groups based on these responses before the symposium.

Further Questions

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Michael DeAnda at

“Learn, Make, Reflect” Model

This model utilizes three components to combine theory and embodied practice in learning as a community.

  • Learn: a selected panel speaks on a given topic. These presentations provide frameworks and considerations from varied perspectives.
  • Make: maker/design breakout sessions that engage the given topic. From the frameworks proposed in presentations, all attendees collaborate on hands-on practices of designing and prototyping something drawing from the frameworks and offerings of the panel.
  • Reflect: after the breakout sessions, all attendees return to discuss their maker experiences. Here, we offer a space for generative forms of knowledge production in which all attendees contribute from their perspectives.



Timothy Ayodele is a software engineer working at Northrop Grumman on radio frequency electronic warfare systems. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an undergraduate in Computer Engineering. He has years of experience as an engineer in radio frequency technology, data analysis, web application design, and FPGA technology. Projects he has worked on include RIVS the digital interviewing platform and the SkillsUSA website, an online base for high school career development. His philanthropic projects include website design and site photography for Engineers Without Borders. His expertise is mainly in FPGA design and web development in LAMP frameworks, with experience in the API platforms of Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

John Cain received his undergraduate training at IIT’s Institute of Design and at Yale’s Brissago Design Program. The seemingly incompatible worlds of form and systems thinking led him to a role at Jay Doblin & Associates (later Doblin Group). In 1994, Cain and Rick Robinson, PhD, cofounded the pioneering human-centered research firm E-lab, widely recognized as the first standalone social research and design services firm. In 1999, E-Lab was acquired by Sapient Corp., a technology consulting firm at the forefront of design, business, and technology integration. Cain and Robinson launched a research and development firm, Iota Partners, in 2010, to design and build sensor technology platforms for ongoing collection of smart data. When Iota was acquired by SapientNitro in 2013, this platform became the centerpiece of Sapient’s Consumer Intelligence services. Cain is active in a number of ventures including consumer products, data, and analytics start-ups and a frequent writer and lecturer on topics ranging from experience design and consumer research, to innovation, data analytics, and the internet of things.

Cansu Canca is a philosopher and the founder/director of the AI Ethics Lab, where she leads teams of computer scientists and legal scholars to provide ethics analysis and guidance to researchers and practitioners. She has a Ph.D. in philosophy specializing in applied ethics. She works on ethics of technology and population-level bioethics with an interest in policy questions. Prior to the AI Ethics Lab, she was a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, and a researcher at the Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Osaka University, and the World Health Organization.  

Kate Hollenbach is an artist, programmer, and educator based in Chicago, Illinois. She develops and examines interactive systems and new technologies relating body, gesture, and physical space. Her art practice is informed by years of professional experience and as an interface designer and product developer. Formerly Director of Design and Computation at Oblong Industries, she led an interdisciplinary team of designers and programmers to develop cutting edge user experiences for collaborative environments and new interaction models for gestural devices. She oversaw the design of Mezzanine, the company’s flagship product. Kate currently teaches interactive media design and programming courses at DePaul University School of Design in the College of Computing and Digital Media.

Spencer D. C. Keralis is the Founder and Executive Director of Digital Frontiers, a conference and community that brings together the makers and users of digital resources for humanities research, teaching, and learning. His research appears in Book History (2010), a special issue American Periodicals on children’s periodicals (2012), and in the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) reports The Problem of Data (2012) and Research Data Management: Principles, Practices, and Prospects (2013). Dr. Keralis’s work on labor ethics in digital humanities pedagogy appears in Disrupting the Digital Humanities (2018), and the forthcoming Modern Language Association publication Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments.

Daniel Lipson is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago where they studied digital media in the Master of the Arts Program in the Humanities. They are a game designer and independent scholar particularly focused on the intersections of digital media theory, queer theory, and disability studies. They currently work as an instructional designer at Making Right Choices, where they help produce material for organizations about HR policy development, risk management, boundary violations, sexual misconduct, and mandatory reporting laws. In addition to their professional and academic work, Daniel Lipson is also involved in organizing community education around gender, consent, and sexuality.

Peter McDonald is an Assistant Professor of Game Design at DePaul University and a fellow at the DePaul Humanities Center. His work focuses on the aesthetics and hermeneutics of playfulness.

Christine Miller is an educator, researcher, and administrator working at the intersection of social science, design, and business. Her ethnographic study of process formalization and the relationship between innovation and formalization at a Tier One automotive supplier focused on how the social and organizational dimensions of innovation shape processes and outcomes. Chris has held numerous administrative positions in both higher education and the private sector. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and in teaching and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students. As a design anthropologist, her professional work is explicitly interventionist and transformative, which allows her to engage in all phases of the design process. She is a published author in the field of business and design anthropology. Chris is currently a Co-Principal Investigator (PI) on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant studying Ethics in STEM research with the aim of designing alternatives to traditional ethics education in the sciences.

Josef Nguyen is an assistant professor of critical media studies in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas. He is working on a book project exploring contemporary debates surrounding youth, digital media, and creative labor. He is also interested in technologies of play, the politics of consent, and maker and DIY cultures. His work appears in Configurations, Cultural Politics, and Transformative Works and Cultures.

Nik Rokop teaches entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate level, and develops tools and frameworks to increase students' chances of entrepreneurial success. He is Chair of the Entrepreneurship Academy Council, a university-wide group of faculty, staff and students promoting entrepreneurship at Illinois Tech, and supports the Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship. Rokop has more than 30 years of successful entrepreneurial experience in engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and international operations. His career spans the iron and steel industries, manufacturing, consulting, education and the Internet.

Ruth Schmidt is a Visiting Industry Professor at ID who focuses on the intersection of behavioral science and design. Her work explores both how to apply principles from behavioral economics to the traditional design process to solve complex systems challenges, and expanding ways in which design can enrich the practice of behavioral science and “nudges.” Before joining ID, Ruth served as a senior leader at Doblin/Deloitte, where she led teams in applying design-informed innovation strategy to solve complex challenges and grow new innovation functions within organizations, most regularly in health care and financial services. Ruth also led the development of Doblin’s Behavioral Design toolkit, a practitioner-oriented set of tools and methods that integrate key principles from behavioral economics with the perspective of user experience to provide an actionable, hands-on and disciplined approach to de-risking innovation. Ruth has presented on behavioral design at multiple institutions, panels, publications, and conferences.

Monika Sziron is a PhD student at Illinois Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the ethical consideration of artificial entities in relation to natural entities. More specifically this has led to the study of human ethics, animal ethics, AI/robot ethics, and cyborg ethics.

Camille Vézy is a PhD student in communication studies at the University of Montreal (Canada). She’s interested in how ethics get materialized into the design and management practices of artificial intelligence systems. Her research project focuses on the process of consent for and through the use of a mental health chatbot. She was also involved in the coconstruction process of the Montreal Declaration for Responsible AI where she animated focus groups about the ethical impacts of AI in education, and conducted research about digital literacy. She was recently appointed chair of TechnoCultureClub’s board of directors, a non-profit organization that fosters active community participation in culture by supporting the development of new practices and uses of technology.


Michael Anthony DeAnda is a PhD candidate in Technology and Humanities at Illinois Institute of Technology. His dissertation focuses on how games marketed towards gay male audiences encode gender identity and sexuality. He develops games that comment on sexuality and gender. Bulge Lab, an Alternate Reality Game developed as part of DeAnda's dissertation, focuses on masculinity, body image, and viruses. This game has been showcased at Queerness and Games Conference 2018, Play Make Learn 2018, Different Games Conference 2018, and Melbourne Queer Games Festival 2018.

Elisabeth Hildt, is a Professor of Philosophy at Illinois Institute of Technology and the Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the  Professions. After having completed her studies in biochemistry, Dr. Hildt became a fellow of the post-graduate program Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen, where she earned her doctorate writing a thesis on personal identity issues in neural grafting. Afterwards, she was the scientific coordinator of the interdisciplinary project European Network for Biomedical Ethics. After several years of post-doctoral experience at the University of Munich she was an assistant professor at the Chair for Ethics in the Life Sciences at the University of Tübingen. From 2008 to summer 2014, Hildt was the head of the Research Group on Neuroethics/Neurophilosophy at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Mainz.

Kelly Laas is the Librarian/Information Researcher at the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) at the Illinois Institute of Technology. During her eleven years at the Center, she has supervised a number of projects relating to the development of online ethics resources and collections, including the management of CSEP’s large Ethics Codes Collection. She is currently collaborating with the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for Engineering, Ethics and Society in developing bibliographies and other materials for the Online Ethics Center, as well as developing the Ethics Education Library, an online database of articles, syllabi, ethics case studies, and best practices of how to integrate ethics into existing technical courses and workshops. Along with coordinating the Center's funded projects, Ms. Laas also collaborates with Illinois Tech faculty in engineering, science, the social sciences and business schools to help integrate ethics into existing courses. Ms. Laas is currently the Upper Midwest Regional representative for the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, and has helped organize the Chicago High School Regional Ethics Bowl for the past two years. She received her MLS in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is a member of the College and Research Libraries division of the American Library Association.

Leilasadat Mirghaderi is a graduate student in the Humanities and Technology at Illinois Tech. She holds a Master of Architecture from State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.B.A from University of Tehran. Her thesis 'Cultural Comparisons of Public Space, with a Focus on the Streetscape of Tehran', uses crowd-sourcing to investigate interactions in public spaces among young adults. Her research focuses on how people use social media to make sense of space and place and addressing ethical issues of social media influencers in Iran.

Call For Papers

Our CFP is now closed, but you may read it below.

Informed Experiences, Designing Consent is a symposium interrogating the intersections of consent and the design of interactive media and technologies. The symposium is hosted at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions and the HASTAC Scholars fellowship program on April 6, 2019. It is organized by Michael Anthony DeAnda, Elisabeth Hildt, Kelly Laas, and Leilasadat Mirghaderi, and is being sponsored through the generous support of the Coleman Foundation.

Informed Experiences, Designing Consent is a one-day event intended to bring together researchers, scholars, practitioners, and designers to consider the implications of theoretical, social, and material aspects of consent and design. Some examples of topics include: consent to participate in social media, user agreement, consent in gaming, informed consent to data collection and use, consent in digital humanities research. This workshop will consider ethical approaches to each of these respective fields of study and development. This event emphasizes theory and practice, structured on an iterative process of Learn, Make, Reflect. Here, participants will begin by listening to a panel on the topic of consent and design, then move to a group maker breakout session to design based off key concepts from the panel and return together to reflect on the process.

We invite researchers, scholars, practitioners, designers, makers, and ethicists to submit proposals for 10-15 minute presentations and to attend this event, particularly those interested in consent as it applies to:

  • Ethics and philosophy 
  • Informed Consent 
  • Design of experiences 
  • Game design and gaming culture 
  • Design and study of User Experience 
  • Website development 
  • Application design and mobile app design 
  • User Interface Design 
  • Data collection 
  • Digital Humanities 
  • Social Media Research 
  • User agreements 
  • Audience studies 
  • Design Research 
  • Research Methods and Practices 
  • Research Design 
  • Storytelling and digital storytelling 
  • Maker spaces and crafting

Proposal submissions should include a title, a 400-500 word abstract, and a bio of 100-150 words in length by January 31, 2019 to this form.

Any further questions may be directed to Michael DeAnda at