“Democracy in practice: the contributions of participation”

Participative gathering + tour

Wednesday 22nd of August
16:30 – 18:00
Z33, Hasselt

“Democracy in practice: the contributions of participation”

“Democracy in practice: the contributions of participation” invites practitioners active in companies, government, and not-for-profit organizations outside of academia to join us for a participative gathering on Wednesday 22 of August from 16.30 to 18.00h (at Z33, Hasselt) just before the Conference reception. This gathering also forms the starting debate for two-year project “The Politics of Design”. This project researches participatory practices’ contributions to democratic ways of giving form to our environment. It questions how design practitioners from the region and beyond (on a national en international level) give form to and see the role of developing a participatory practice.

Besides providing a platform for great networking, the evening will also feature a tour of the Situated Actions – from 17:30 to 18:00 the participants will be invited to interact with the works presented in our exhibition at Z33. At 18.00h participants will join the conference ceremony awards and reception.

Organizers: Daria Loi (Intel) Andrea Botero (Suo&co), An Jacobs (Imec) and Joke Quintens (Moving*Marseille), Marc Steen (NTO) industry@pdc2018.org 

Andrea Botero (COL/FIN) is a Colombian born, Finland Based designer and researcher. Herwork engages with the possibilities, and contradictions of participating in the creation of environments, tools and media that afford more relational and caring interactions among, and between people and their environment. She is currently a researcher at Aalto University in Finland and conspirator at the practice based research studio Suo&Co.

Inner circle:
Joke Quintens (BE/FR) is a field expert “making city together” with a local policy making and cocreation background. With Moving*Marseille she shares in urban field trips great examples of social innovation in Marseille, co-created from the bottom-up in a superdivers city. “Sustainable change in cities requires active involvement of citizens. Policy makers need to trust the knowledge, experience and creativity of its people. When civil servants, artists, scientists, designers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and citizens join forces, they co-create a different society. Wetopia, as I like to call this, is already under construction.”

Daria Loi (USA/IT) is a participatory design and user experience strategist currently focused on sense-making and natural interactions within smart spaces, with specific emphasis on smart home and homecare technologies. She is Principal Engineer at Anticipatory Computing Lab, Intel Labs.
“Intelligent Systems – those that leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – are set to transform how we live and experience the world. Given their technical complexity, AI-centric futures are often illegible to many people who are directly affected by and implicated in such systems. A future enriched and enabled by intelligent-yet-trustworthy systems requires careful implementation of guidelines that govern the actions of those in charge of deciding what to design, how, why and what data to feed into a given system. This future requires more than expert critique, but also the involvement of those subject to its execution. As shapers of more democratic futures, participatory design practitioners have consequently the professional, moral, and ethical responsibility to engage with the debate over artificial intelligence and intelligent systems.”

Penny Hagen (Aotearoa NZ) supports cross sector public service teams wanting to apply social innovation and participatory approaches to increase impact and enable different forms of participation, power distribution and capacity building across agencies, communities and families. Her affiliation: Co-design Lead The Auckland Co-design Lab, The Southern Initiative, Auckland Council.
“Participatory design (integrated with other disciplines) offers the potential to support new forms of participatory policy-making (and learning loops between intent and implementation) that better address the complex realities governments, families, communities and organisations face in attempting to shift outcomes.”

Thomas Lodato (USA) from Verizon Connect is senior UX researcher, professionally focused on connected cars and academically focused on the future of work.
“The participatory aspect of PD is often cited as the natural linkage between PD and democracy—democracies are those systems that are decided on by and for people, and PD enables that. I see the linkage as the ability of PD to foster productive disagreements (dissensus as theorized by Mouffe amongst others) by encouraging circumstances where negotiation is required. In my work, finding ways to make dissensus a driving force to motivate change has been my goal.”

A2O (BE) is a Hasselt and Brussels-based team of interdisciplinary spatial designers. The focus of our team of architects, urban designers, researchers etc. is covering different scales and aspect of spatial developments ranging from strategic and actions and interventions, to urban renewal projects and larger scale regional strategies our policy-advise.
“As the shaping of our spaces and cities has a vast and definitive impact on the way we live, work, recreate and behave, we consider our environments as ‘commons’. We are therefore convinced that the act of designing, changing and constructing our environment should be an open and co-productive process which transcends the constraints of private property or individual interests and is of value to all citizens. In our visions and projects we seek to build a common ground to create added value by engaging and involving the many private, political and civic stakeholders involved in shaping our environments.”

Second circle:

Nik Baerten (BE) Pantopicon, foresight & design studio.

Michael McCabe (USA) Community | Learning | Design, Inc and Brookwood Middle School.
“Placing youth in the role as co-designers of their learning and learning environment allows for agentic development and authentic authorship of experience critical to our survival.”

Sean Anderson (USA), Community | Learning | Design, Inc.
“Schools can be places where young people co-create their own learning through deliberation and dialogue, and in so doing open a site for the practice and reproduction of a democratic life.”

Alix Gerber (USA) Futures of Public Safety (public process of police reform in Ferguson, Missouri)
“Throughout, officials often “listen”. What if, instead, they invested in public “participation” – uncovering peoples’ expertise and working together to turn it into action? “