SP3: Expanding the ‘How’ of Participatory Design

Insights into techniques and methods that support novel perspectives on how participatory design activities might be practiced or reflected upon. This includes examples that should benefit practitioners and researchers who wish to think through the interpersonal qualities and responsibilities within participatory processes, to explore more deeply the process of participation, and open up participatory engagements to include new forms of media.

Thursday, 18 August, 09.00 – 10.30
Large Auditorium, INCUBA
Chair: Rachael Luck, The Open University (UK)

Becoming Response-able Stakeholders – Participatory Design in Times of Uncertainties

Kristina Lindström, Umeå University, Sweden
Åsa Ståhl, Umeå University, Sweden

Abstract: This paper connects with recent movements within participatory design that move beyond democracy at work and into public engagements with matters where stakes and stakeholders are uncertain. This is thus a shift from earlier participatory design projects where identifiable stakeholders were a pre-condition. To enable the becoming of stakes and stakeholders that are response-able, this paper argues for a new design space within participatory design: to enable material participation in yet unarticulated issues connected to socio-material entanglements. This becoming of stakeholder is not necessarily about solving a problem but to sensitize oneself to one’s entanglements, response-ability and agency in relation to potential issues. The proposal is discussed through a design experiment centred on co-living and the messy practices of composting plastic waste in domestic settings.

Contact Quality in Participation: A “Sensethic” Perspective

Jesper Simonsen, Roskilde University, Denmark
Olav Storm Jensen, Sensetik; Roskilde University, Denmark

Abstract: We investigate the concept of participation from the perspective of the quality of the contact in communicative interactions between participants. We argue for the need for an academic-personal competence that qualifies the human contact central in all Participatory Design (PD) activities as a way to contribute to “an era of participation.” We describe a contact perspective in PD developed through a collaboration with body-oriented psychotherapeutic research that has specialized experiences in investigating open-minded contact and authentic meetings as body-related experiences.

Social Media Resources for Participative Design Research

Fatema Qaed, Northumbria University, United Kingdom
Jo Briggs, Northumbria University, United Kingdom
Gilbert Cockton, Northumbria University, United Kingdom

Abstract: We present our experiences of novel value from online social media for Participative Design (PD) research. We describe how particular social media (e.g. Facebook, Pinterest, WhatsApp and Twitter) were used during a five-year project on learning space design by the researcher and interested teachers across all research phases (contextual review, user studies, PD action research). Social media were used to source and share comments, photographs and video documentation, supporting participation in design research. Based on our experiences, we provide recommendations on informed worthwhile use of social media to enrich PD research by increasing diversity, recursivity and timely access to insights, informants, inspirations and influencers.

Subversive Participatory Design: Reflections on a Case Study

Michela Cozza, University of Trento, Italy
Linda Tonolli, University of Trento, Italy
Vincenzo D’Andrea, University of Trento, Italy

Abstract: This paper grounds in a research experience for engaging older people as co-designers of several wearable and in-house technologies. We start by describing a case study that is a pre-commercial procurement aimed at developing innovative services for the welfare of citizens, with a focus on older people. We present and discuss the qualitative data gathered on the occasion of a bodystorming with two groups of participants. The analysis led to the identification of the “aesthetic appropriateness”, the “social sensitivity”, and the “gender awareness” as three different dimensions that affected the acceptability of the technological devices. This approach created the conditions for instantiating the subversive power of participation. At the same time, such a subversion proved the authenticity of the participatory process. By drawing on this project, the purpose of the paper is to further our understanding of the conditions for Participatory Design.

Nurses Journey Towards Genuine Participation

Kija Østergaard, Roskilde University, Denmark
Helena Karasti, Roskilde University, Denmark
Jesper Simonsen, Roskilde University, Denmark

Abstract: This paper contributes to the ongoing debate on participation in Participatory Design (PD) by drawing on the notion of genuine participation. It clarifies nurses’ empirical journey as one of becoming and learning, where they move from being reluctant participants, attending only because management has instructed them to do so, to taking an interest and finding their voices in the design process. In this way, they are ultimately able to engage in genuine and willing participation. The main discussion points in the paper are the transitions in the nurses’ journey toward embracing qualities of genuine participation, the nurse-researcher’s reflections on her facilitation of the process, and collective learning as an integral part of the process.