Short paper track 1: PD METHODOLOGY

Short paper track 1: FUTURE ISSUES

Short paper track 1: CARE

Short paper track 2: POLITICS

Short paper track 2: URBAN

Short paper track 2: ON THE EDGE

Short Papers

Short papers present original, unpublished ideas and research that explores or advances the field of Participatory Design (PD) or reflect on its potential future developments.

Chairs: Carl DiSalvo and Erik Grönvall,

Short paper track 1: PD METHODOLOGY

Wednesday 22nd of August
13:00 – 14:30
Hasselt University, in the Old Prison

Ann Light
Writing PD: Accounting for Socially – Engaged Research

As participants in participatory process, PD academics report on the practices and outcomes of their work and thereby shape what is known of individual projects and the wider field of participatory design. At present, there is a dominant form for this reporting, led by academic publishing models. Yet, the politics of describing others has received little discussion. Our field brings diverging sensibilities to co-design, conducting experiments and asking what participation means in different contexts. How do we match this ingenuity in designing with ingenuity of reporting? Should designers, researchers and other participants all be writing up participatory work, using more novel and tailored approaches? Should we write more open and playful collaborative texts? Within some academic discourse, considerable value is placed on reflexivity, positionality, inclusivity and auto-ethnography as part of reflecting. Yet, PD spends no time in discussing its written outputs. Drawing on the results of a PDC’16 workshop, I encourage us to challenge this silence and discuss “Writing PD”.

Giacomo Poderi, Yvonne Dittrich
Participatory Design and Sustainability

This exploratory paper examines the relationship between Participatory Design (PD) and Sustainability as it emerges from the Participatory Design Conference (PDC). The reinvigorated political agenda of PD, together with the enlargements of its application domains and scopes of interest, calls for reinvigorating the early concerns of the field for long-term, durable, and positive change. The objective of this paper is to explore what “sustainability” means in and for the field. The study is based on a literature review of the PDC Proceedings and it provides both an outline of the structural aspects of the literature and a mapping of three use patterns of the concept: PD for Sustainability; Sustainability of PD Practice; and Sustainability of PD Results. Based on our interpretation of these patterns we also provide a general definition of sustainability. We believe the findings of this paper can support PD scholars in conceptualizing sustainability and to position their works in relation to it.

Claus Bossen, Ole Sejer Iversen, Christian Dindler
Program Theory for Participatory Design

How does participatory design work and what are the links between investments in terms of time, people and skills, the processes and the resulting effects? This paper explores program theory as a way for Participatory Design (PD) to investigate and evaluate these issues. Program theory comes out of the evaluation field and is a way to make explicit the assumptions of how programs and projects are supposed to produce results by detailing the elements and causal links between them.

Jonas Geuens, Luc Geurts, Thijs W Swinnen, René Westhovens, Maarten Van Mechelen, Vero Vanden Abeele
Turning Tables: A Structured Focus Group Method to Remediate Unequal Power during Participatory Design in Health Care

In a participatory design process, patients as well as care providers play a critical role in the design and development of healthcare apps. However, special attention should be given to problematic group dynamics that may arise from unequal power across participants. In this paper, we present Turning Tables, a focus group method, inspired by social interdependence theory (SIT), to mitigate asymmetric power. First, we present our SIT – inspired protocol for conducting focus groups. Next, via a qualitative analysis of 2 focus groups, we describe group dynamics and evaluate our method. Observations show that by splitting teams into patients versus care providers, and by specifying turn-taking (giving the floor to patients first), unequal power can be mitigated. However, observations also show that participants default back into their traditional roles during less formalized moments.

Short paper track 1: FUTURE ISSUES

Wednesday 22nd of August
13:00 – 14:30
Hasselt University, in the Old Prison

Madisson Whitman, Chien-yi Hsiang, Kendall Roark
Potential for Participatory Big Data Ethics and Algorithm Design: A Scoping Mapping Review

Ubiquitous networked data collection and algorithm-based information systems have the potential to disparately impact lives around the planet and pose a host of emerging ethical challenges. One response has been a call for more transparency and democratic control over the design and implementation of such systems. This scoping mapping review focuses on participatory approaches to the design, governance, and future of these systems across a wide variety of contexts and domains.

Ari Tuhkala, Tommi Kärkkäinen, Paavo Nieminen
Semi-Automatic Literature Mapping of Participatory Design Studies 2006-2016

The paper presents a process of semi-automatic literature mapping of a comprehensive set of participatory design studies between 2006-2016. The data of 2939 abstracts were collected from 14 academic search engines and databases. With the presented method, we were able to identify six education-related clusters of PD articles. Furthermore, we point out that the identified clusters cover the majority of education-related words in the whole data. This is the first attempt to systematically map the participatory design literature. We argue that by continuing our work, we can help to perceive a coherent structure in the body of PD research.

Elena Parmiggiani, Helena Karasti
Surfacing Subsea Infrastructure: Politics of Participation in Algorithmic Democracy

The ongoing adoption of sensor networks, algorithms, and digital data comes with the promise of opening up participation in knowledge production. However, the dynamics of the participatory design (PD) processes in these infrastructuring endeavors remain underspecified. This short paper draws on a study of an oil company’s project to design an open digital platform to produce knowledge about the Arctic marine environment. Fraught with political controversies, this effort encompasses several stakeholders with contrasting agendas. Leveraging the relational quality of infrastructure, we propose to revitalize the political roots of PD by problematizing simultaneously the roles of human and non-human participants, foregrounding both digital technology and the monitored natural ecosystems. We discuss how infrastructuring aimed at letting humans visualize the inaccessible, also shapes participation by creating spaces of (in)visibility and concentrating control over knowledge creation in the hands of the most powerful stakeholders.

Tone Bratteteig, Guri Verne
Does AI make PD obsolete? Exploring challenges from Artificial Intelligence to Participatory Design

In this paper, we explore if and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) challenges Participatory Design (PD). We base our analysis on the basic characteristics of AI and its subfield Machine Learning and discuss how and what kinds of design decisions users are able to participate in when technology that includes AI is designed. We conclude that AI challenges PD but that classic PD methods can be useful for parts of the design process. However, AI poses new challenges to PD all originating in the fact that AI technologies change unpredictably over time.

Short paper track 1: CARE

Wednesday 22nd of August
13:00 – 14:30
Hasselt University, in the Old Prison

Donna Stam, Boudewijn Boon
What You Gain and What it Takes: A Student’s Reflection on a Participatory Design Project

Within the field of design various methods are available that allow users to be involved in the design process. Based on a participatory design project in the context of paediatric physiotherapy, this paper shares reflections of a relatively inexperienced design student, trained to involve users in a designer-led fashion. We highlight the values that a participatory approach brought her (i.e. what was gained) and what this approach required of her as a designer (i.e. what it took). The main benefits were a deeper understanding of the context and shared ownership among stakeholders. Achieving these benefits required the student to show qualities of courage, social sensitivity and responsiveness. Our reflection suggests that besides the teaching of methods and techniques, design education should also address the personal or professional qualities that can benefit design students in participatory design projects.

Ann Marie Kanstrup, Pernille Bertelsen
Participatory Rhythms: Balancing Participatory Tempi and investment in Design with Vulnerable Users

Examinations of the participation in design processes are important to continuously advance the field of participatory design. This paper presents an analysis of how 22 young adults diagnosed with depression and anxiety participated in a design process focused on technology for health promotion. The findings identify concepts related to rhythm, tempi and investments in participation as central for designers who aim to cooperate with vulnerable users and embrace diversity in future health IT.

Ellen Balka, David Peddie, Serena S Small, Christine Ackerley, Johanna Trimble, Corinne M Hohl
Barriers to Scaling Up Participatory Design Interventions in Health IT: A Case Study

In this paper, we present an account of the challenges faced while implementing a participatory design intervention in healthcare. We use examples from the development of ActionADE, an electronic application for sharing patient-specific adverse drug event information between hospitals (where adverse drug events are documented) and community pharmacies (where harmful drugs can be unintentionally re-dispensed). While developing ActionADE entailed extensive qualitative work, its implementation is contingent on our research team’s action in the health data infrastructure arena, including developing and maintaining stakeholder relationships and addressing policy and governance issues. Competencies and skills in this area are often overlooked, yet are required to achieve successful uptake of participatory design interventions in health information technology.

Clare Villalba, Jared Donovan, Anjali Jaiprakash, Deborah Askew, Jonathan Roberts, Anthony Russell, Ross Crawford, Noel Hayman
Data Timelines as Paths of Expressions for Organizational Reflection in Healthcare Participatory Design

This paper discusses the early stages of a healthcare participatory design project, where historically recorded ‘hard’ data was used to engage participants in organizational reflection about related (but unrecorded) ‘soft’ data. This uncovered the interconnected history of the organization and allowed participants to collaboratively identify and prioritize design opportunities that could be taken up in subsequent phases of the healthcare design. We share our method for presenting the available recorded data in the form of ‘data timelines’ to start and structure collaborative reflection. We then present the outcomes of our use of this method in the context of the wider healthcare service design project and reflect on the qualities and practicalities of the approach within participatory design.

Short paper track 2: POLITICS

Friday 24th of August
11:30 – 13:10
Hasselt University, in the Old Prison

Suvi Pihkala, Helena Karasti
Politics of Mattering in the Practices of Participatory Design

In this paper, we join those in the field of Participatory Design (PD) that have become inspired by the “ontological turn” as captured in the proliferating discussions around relationality, becoming, and nonhuman agency. The paper offers an account from a PD case where a social media platform was designed with and by professionals for their collaboration around the topic of workplace bullying and harassment. Through this account, this paper reimagines PD in a “posthuman landscape” and explores how this ontological turn forces—and/or enables—a rethinking of ethics and politics in PD. In a timely conference which asks for scrutinizing the ways that the political heritage of democracy, participation, and equality can be enacted in the diverse terrains of PD, our short paper proposes the “politics of mattering” as a way of accounting for the design process as an always-relational becoming and its practices as already-political.

Naska Goagoses,Asnath Kambunga, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus
Enhancing Commitment to Participatory Design Initiatives

Increased participants’ commitment to participatory design (PD) initiatives can lead to sustainability beyond the project period. Although commitment is endorsed in theory, it is often overlooked or incorrectly assumed in practice; we thus introduce a technique grounded in motivational psychology, aiming to increase commitment to individual goals that contribute to a common group goal within a PD initiative. We present a case study of unemployed youth, participating in the design of an appropriate localized technology adoption strategy. A commitment workshop attempted to align individual goals and actions of the participants to enhance group achievement and extend individual commitment and activities beyond the project. A follow-up three months after the workshop indicates sustained commitment among participants. We conclude that the technique is viable in establishing participants’ commitment, yet needs further refinements informed by more empirical work.

Nanna Holdgaard, Signe Louise Yndigegn
Participatory Design – Negotiations in Project Funding Regimes

In this paper, we discuss two emerging controversies in the meeting between participatory design (PD) ideals and the funding regime in an EU-funded cross-sector partnership project with seven partners. We argue that this discussion is much needed within the PD community, as more and more research is funded through outlets that challenge current design practices in PD that emphasize bottom-up and open-ended processes. We argue for a continued need for reflexive PD practices that take implications of publicly funded cross-sector partnerships into account.

Stella Boess, Sacha Silvester, Elles de Wal and Onno de Wal
Acting from a participatory attitude in networked collaboration

We present a participatory process in the context of networked collaboration in the field of construction, and offer the concept of participatory attitude as having a key facilitating role init. The concept is developed through reflexive narratives from the first five months of a sustainable renovation process. Characteristics of the participatory attitude identified here were sustained listening, bridging, demonstrating and eliciting. The attitude helped build mutual trust, which in turn engaged residents in reflecting on their everyday practices in relation to the future technical make-up of their home. Questions remain how well democratic aims were represented in the process. No residents were left behind, because system gaps were bridged.

Short paper track 2: URBAN

Friday 24th of August
11:30 – 13:10
Hasselt University, in the Old Prison

Hella Hernberg, Ramia Mazé
Agonistic Temporary Space – Reflections on ‘Agonistic Space’ across Participatory Design and Urban Temporary Use

Recent discussions in Participatory Design around infrastructuring and particularly ‘agonistic space’ offer useful concepts relevant to other fields facing similar issues regarding public settings and related conflicts and contestation among stakeholders. In this paper, ‘agonistic space’ is used as a conceptual lens to discuss overlapping issues across participatory design and ‘temporary use’ of space, which is an emerging approach in architecture/planning addressing urban change and land use. This paper focuses in particular on the socio-spatial struggles characterizing ‘expanded PD’ and temporary use. Furthermore, concepts and issues within discourses and practices of temporary use are identified, which can further expand PD discussions of ‘agonistic space’. The paper thus identifies connections between the two practices, which can be a basis for future further research.

Sara Heitlinger, Nick Bryan-Kinns, Rob Comber
Connected Seeds and Sensors: Co-designing Internet of Things for Sustainable Smart Cities with urban food-growing communities

We present a case study of a participatory design project in the space of sustainable smart cities and Internet of Things. We describe our design process that led to the development of an interactive seed library that tells the stories of culturally diverse urban food growers, and networked environmental sensors from their gardens, as a way to support more sustainable food practices in the city. This paper contributes to an emerging body of empirical work within participatory design that seeks to involve citizens in the design of smart cities and Internet of Things, particularly in the context of marginalised and culturally diverse urban communities. It also contributes empirical work towards non-utilitarian approaches to sustainable smart cities through a discussion of designing for urban diversity and slowness.

Najla Mouchrek, Deborah Tatar
Youth Places – Collaborative Cartography with Young People in a Belo Horizonte, Brazil

The paper presents the participatory design project “Youth Places”, aimed to develop a youth collaborative mapping of the city. The goal is supporting young people to change power and authority by proposing appropriate and meaningful places for their age group in the public space. The paper presents a pilot application of a collaborative cartography platform with a group of young people (14-22 years old) in the region of Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The application provided space and structure for participation, allowing youth to voice their opinions about the use of public space through co-creation and collaborative reflection. The project produced promising preliminary results, including engagement, positive feedback, and increased locus of control. Aiming to address youth’s need to participate in community as active and competent citizens, the project intends to share the results with the municipal authorities to inform public policies in the future.

Barbara Roosen, Oswald Devisch
Mapping Dialectics: Ways to Understand and Support Collective Place-making in the Context of a Residential Subdivision

Based upon Lefebvre’s dialectic thinking, this paper discusses how mappings can expose as well as inform place-making in the context of a long-term PD process in a suburban residential area. We analyse mappings that played a crucial role in the process, introducing other ways of seeing, using and understanding (everyday) spaces. We describe four maps that each denote different types of dialectics and lead to different actions, collaborations or conflicts in the PD process. In this way, we aim to explore how the practice of mapping can give clues on how to voice difference (in meanings, uses and knowledge) among actors in a participatory urban design process and as such influence the place-making process.

Ida Nilstad Pettersen, Hanne Cecilie Geirbo, Hanne Johnsrud
The tree as method: co-creating with urban ecosystems

Participatory design is based on the idea that those affected by a decision should get the opportunity to influence it. Addressing the imperative of climate change and the complexity of sustainable urban development requires collaboration and co-creation across disciplines, sectors and systems. Nonhuman participation and the innovation potential in designing with nature and integrating a concern for social, technical and natural systems do however remain underexplored. In this explorative short paper, we ask what it would take to take the needs of nature seriously, and to co-create with urban ecosystems. Taking street trees as examples, we discuss and reflect on what trees as participants might imply and open up for. We do that according to five fundamental aspects of participatory design. Pointing out directions for future research, we propose taking “the tree as method” as entry point for multi-actor explorations of the challenges and opportunities of street transformation across social, technical and ecological systems.

Short paper track 2: ON THE EDGE

Friday 24th of August
11:30 – 13:10
Hasselt University, in the Old Prison

Peter-Willem Vermeersch, Jeandonné Schijlen, Ann Heylighen
Designing from disability experience: Space for multi-sensoriality

This paper describes a participatory workshop as part of a larger process to design an inclusive museum space. The workshop covers a number of sessions that go from mutual introductions, over idea generation, to synthesis of an architectural concept. We dis-cuss the participants’ experience of the process that is set up to allow for a balanced exchange between architects and user/experts living with an impairment. We also discuss the outcome of the process in terms of its expression of inclusive museum architecture.

Alix Gerber
Participatory Speculation: Futures of Public Safety

This paper discusses an approach that combines participatory and speculative design practices to enable non-reformist reform. It explores how we might challenge the limits of the status quo by using speculative design’s intention of provocation, while engaging in a participatory process that includes the people who are most impacted by current oppressive systems. In a case study based in Ferguson, MO, community members imagined futures where neighborhoods are kept safe without policing. Speculative props were designed to materialize community members’ visions and to provoke conversation around our utopias and their negative implications. This work confronts challenges around public participation, collaborative visioning and the long process of enacting radical systemic change.

Penny Hagen, Toni Reid, Monica Evans, Asha Tupou Vera
Co-design reconfigured as a tool for youth wellbeing and education: A community collaboration case study

In the Community Collaboration reported in this paper co-design was ‘reconfigured’ as a means for supporting youth wellbeing and educational outcomes for young people, including capability, confidence and connections that can contribute to longer-term wellbeing benefits within a particular community. While Participatory Design has always been an approach that shapes situations of the future and the capacities and skills needed to realize those, ‘co-design’ as promoted within the public sector in New Zealand and Australia has tended to position co-design as a means for delivering new “designs”. Less emphasis has been placed on the benefits of mutual learning that it produces, including new skills and capacities needed to action change. This paper shares how these additional and significant outcomes of participatory practice have been pursued and made visible within a specific case study.

Selina Schepers, Katrien Dreessen, Bieke Zaman
Exploring user gains in Participatory Design Processes with vulnerable children

This paper contributes to the debate on benefits that children can gain through their involvement in Participatory Design (PD) and highlights the importance of user gains in relation to vulnerable children. As vulnerable children are prone to marginalisation, this paper explores the user gains they may acquire when participating in PD processes. We report on the results of ‘Making Things!’: a long-term PD project to (co-)design FabLab workshops for the future together with local, vulnerable children (6-12 y/o). The analysis points to three benefits that these children gain through their participation: developing self-esteem, learning-by-doing, and broadening their horizons. Based on our findings, we pinpoint the importance of an approach to PD that is sensitive to the complexities of participants (cf. ‘Design for vulnerability’) and discuss the need for suitable methods to assess children’s user gains.

Aakash Gautam, Chandani Shrestha, Andrew Kulak, Steve Harrison, Deborah Tatar
Working with “Sister-Survivors” in an Organizational Context

This note uncovers a design tension in participatory design practice in the context of two organizations in Nepal working on reducing sex-trafficking and helping survivors. The dilemma consists of contradictions between the public face that the organizations present to the world and the more complex underlying picture painted by survivors. In initial work, we created and deployed a value-elicitation game for survivors that gave us better access to their voices. However, the implications for ongoing participatory work remain to be unpacked. The veneer may constitute a necessary part of the staffs’ successful interactions with external funders. The survivors rely on the resources that the organization gathers, yet the veneer may also obscure some aspects of the survivors’ needs. The question raised is “how should our PD practice position itself with respect to the ideal of comprehensive democratic participation when potential harm may ensue to vulnerable people?”