Socializing surveillance: An interdisciplinary educational model

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Surveillance systems are becoming ubiquitous nowadays. Their use is sometimes followed by misuse which often raises ethical questions that have implications for all involved in the design, control, and implementation of surveillance schemes. Spanning across the disciplines of interior design/architecture and camera networks present conceptions of surveillance systems often disregard the social dimension, or those 'being watched.' Debates raise concerns as people associate cameras with feelings of fear and control, loss of privacy, discrimination, inequality, and cultural/gender insensitivity. Began as an interdisciplinary collaboration between the University of Minnesota's Interior Design program and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the 'Socializing Surveillance' project matured into a joint endeavor undertaken by four faculty advisors and five electrical and computer engineering students through the "ECE 4951: Senior Design" Project in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. This paper outlines the pertinent issues starting from an optimization approach to place cameras and in-depth interviews with design practitioners that led to a re-thinking of what surveillance and camera networks can entail; the challenges and opportunities afforded through interdisciplinary educational efforts; and the attempts of the team to develop a prototype for an interactive surveillance system that foregrounds the social dimensions of a security scheme. The goal is to ignite interest in surveillance and to set in place considerations for interdisciplinary educational models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication18th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED'10 - Conference Proceedings
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 29 2010
Event18th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED'10 - Marrakech, Morocco
Duration: Jun 23 2010Jun 25 2010

Publication series

Name18th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED'10 - Conference Proceedings


Other18th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED'10


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