FP4: Dimensions of Participation

Of culture, time and space; including contributions that pay attention to the cultural nuances which manifest in, and respond to diverse self-representations; acknowledge and play upon different conceptions of the past and the future; and that move beyond conventionally included dominant voices and interests to wider and more diverse stakeholder engagement for social innovation.

Friday, 19. August, 9.00 – 10.30
Peter Bøgh Andersen Auditorium, Nygaard
Chair: Christopher Frauenberger, Vienna University of Technology

A Hermeneutic Inquiry into User-Created Personas in Different Namibian Locales

Daniel Gonzalez-Cabrero, University of West London, United Kingdom
Heike Winschiers, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia
Jose L. A. Nocera, University of West London, United Kingdom
Gereon Koch Kapuire, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia

Abstract: Persona is a tool broadly used in technology design to support communicational interactions between designers and users. Different Persona types and methods have evolved mostly in the Global North, and been partially deployed in the Global South every so often in its original User-Centred Design methodology. We postulate persona conceptualizations are expected to differ across cultures. We demonstrate this with an exploratory-case study on user-created persona co-designed with four Namibian ethnic groups: ovaHerero, Ovambo, ovaHimba and Khoisan. We follow a hermeneutic inquiry approach to discern cultural nuances from diverse human conducts. Findings reveal diverse self-representations whereby for each ethnic group results emerge in unalike fashions, viewpoints, recounts and storylines. This paper ultimately argues User-Created Persona as a potentially valid approach for pursuing cross-cultural depictions of personas that communicate cultural features and user experiences paramount to designing acceptable and gratifying technologies in dissimilar locales.

Counterfactual Scripting: Acknowledging the Past as a Resource for PD

Liesbeth Huybrechts, UHasselt, Hasselt, Belgium
Niels Hendriks, Social Spaces, LUCA School of Arts, KU Leuven, Belgium 

Abstract: This paper discusses counterfactual scripting as a framework to critically inquire and give form to design decisions in Participatory Design (PD) processes. The stories of what has happened in a design process are often told in a clear storyline that develops logically via different design moves towards a well-defined plot. Counterfactual scripting is a rejection of this teleological perspective. Inspired by counterfactual history, counterfactual scripting gives form to the PD process via the creation of plausible alternatives for the past and speculations about the future. In this way, the (materialised) counterfactual script facilitates in the perception of a more pluralistic view of past and future. In this paper we form the basis for a framework of counterfactual scripting by connecting theory on decision-making in PD with theory on counterfactual thinking in history and design. This framework is applied and evaluated in a case study in participatory spatial planning.

Bringing New Voices to Design of Exercise Technology: Participatory Design with Vulnerable Young Adults

Anne Marie Kanstrup, Aalborg University, Denmark
Pernille Bertelsen, Aalborg University, Denmark

Abstract: Physical activity is important for people’s health, but it can be challenging especially for people who are vulnerable because of mental disorders. This paper contributes to participatory approaches developed to include vulnerable people in the design of exercise technology and situates participatory design to an exercise location and exercise activities. The results expand the current design space of exercise technology, which is dominated by sports enthusiasts and persuasive strategies. Visions for digital support that mediates local social exercise horizons are presented as a design alternative. The results exemplify that a participatory approach, which includes marginalized people in the design of technology, offers new knowledge for making existing and future applications useful to a broader audience. Specifically, the results point to opportunities for opening up the design space of health-promoting technology to support the cooperation of available health resources among residents in a community with attention to people who are in a vulnerable situation.

Co-creating an Enabling Reading Environment For and With Namibian Children

Helvi Iitenge-Wheeler, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia
Essi Kuure, University of Lapland, Finland
Margot Brereton, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia

Abstract: Namibian children’s appreciation of literature is falling behind. While children develop functional literacy, enough to search the web and read for information finding, their skills plateau due to their limited forms of reading. Thus this paper draws on a participatory approach with different stakeholders aiming to co-create a stimulating and enabling reading environment for Namibian children. Four different participatory workshops were designed to explore ways to deepen the reading culture, in particular by exploring contexts in which children would read and also author books. Acknowledging the different roles of stakeholders in an ongoing national agenda of enhancing the Namibian reading culture, it becomes clear that the various aspirations of children as expressed in their designs need to be accounted for, interpreted and translated into a feasible plan of action. The paper outlines a way of using participatory design workshops at a number of levels to obtain design inspirations for further interventions towards enhancing kids’ reading experiences.