CommIT: Community IT design

This project was funded by the Academy of Finland between 2017 and 2018, and I am to pursue parts of it through my research work at ITU. The project examines the way self-organized urban communities use information technologies and collaboratively shape artifact ecologies and their own IT infrastructure with minimal resources, mostly using everyday tools. These mechanisms are often unaccounted for in professional IT development. Understanding them makes it possible to address the digital needs of communities leading societal change and challenging traditional modes of production and consumption.

The project aims to gather knowledge on intrinsic community work in the design of IT, use this knowledge to assess ongoing efforts at providing non-commercial alternatives for supportive tools, and articulate suggestions to make such tools more democratic as well as better suited for the needs of the communities.


Botero, A. & Saad-Sulonen, J. (In press). (Challenges and Opportunities of) Documentation Practices of Self-Organized Urban Initiatives. In Oswald Devisch, Liesbeth Huybrechts and Roel De Ridder (eds). Participatory design theory: using technology and social media to foster civic engagement. UK: Routledge.

Saad-Sulonen, J., Horelli, L., and Kahila, M. (forthcoming, 2018). Digital artefacts supporting the appropriation of public spaces and paths in Helsinki. To be presented at the City Street3 conference, 31stOct – 3rdNov 2018, Lebanon.

Saad-Sulonen, J. & Horelli, L. (2017). Urban self-organising groups as users of digital artefacts – Nordic experiences. Yhdyskuntasuunnittelu lehti (Journal of Finnish Urban Studies). 3:55.

Bødker, S., Lyle, P., & Saad-Sulonen, J. (2017). Untangling the Mess of Technological Artefacts: Investigating Community Artefact Ecologies. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (pp. 246–255). New York, NY, USA: ACM.