Since 2013, CogniCity researchers have applied a wide range of expertise and attendant skill sets to the project, from anthropology and artistic research to systems engineering and statistics, as well as design, human and physical geography, hydrography and hydraulic network modelling, programming and UX/UI development, among many other disciplinary initiatives. They created a process whereby social science and design research approaches both compliment and inform the technical development of the code, and continually facilitate grassroots, community-led, street-level engagement and refinement of the system. Every element of the software, including humanitarian chat bots,
web-based maps, and disaster-specific features, are built through a comprehensive co-development process with residents, experts, disaster managers and first responders. This proven methodology has allowed CogniCity to grow and flourish and ensured inclusive, community-led, user-centric design for every aspect of the project. As a pathbreaking example of design anthropology informing software development, CogniCity is an open system that is continuously improved through users’ participation in the testing and prototyping of alternative social and technical approaches to information accessibility, resource distribution, and mutual aid.