Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference Vol.I: Full papers

Claus Bossen (Editor), Rachel Charlotte Smith (Editor), Anne Marie Kanstrup (Editor), Janet McDonnell (Editor), Maurizio Teli (Editor), Keld Bødker (Editor)

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportAnthologyResearchpeer-review


Participatory Design in an Era of Participation : Introduction to volume 1

Participatory Design is a diverse collection of principles and practices aimed
at making technologies, tools, environments, businesses and social institutions
more responsive to human needs. A central tenet of Participatory
Design (PD) is the direct involvement of people in the co-design of things
and technologies they use and live with.
The theme for Participatory Design Conference 2016 is ‘Participatory Design
in an Era of Participation’. Over 25 years after the first PDC in 1990, participation and co-creation have become essential features of design and research into technology. Living in an era of participation prompts critical questions around the goals and practices of involving people in diverse aspects of developing, redesigning and using IT. The distribution and promise of information technologies cut across emerging societal challenges at various levels. Sharing economy, crowdfunding and participatory cultures create new forms of engagement that challenge traditional ideas of participation. Public engagement in radical social innovation is used to address shrinking finances to public services, which has resulted in citizen involving projects and labs in various domains. Maker technologies, notions of hacking and shared data, are promoting civic engagement with technology innovation that changes the material and socio-economic contexts of production. At the same time, centralization of the Internet, big data and large-scale infrastructuring challenge the core democratic ideals of PD. The Participatory Design Conferences (PDC) continue to be the main gathering point of the PD community and an important venue for international discussion of the collaborative, social and political dimensions of technology innovation and use. PDC is a premier venue for presenting research on the direct involvement of people in the design, development, implementation and appropriation of information and communication technology. Held every two years since 1990, PDC brings together a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers and practitioners from multiple fields. These include, but are not limited to, Human-Computer Interaction, CSCW (computer supported cooperative work), Co-Design, Design Research, CSCL (computer supported collaborative learning), ICT4D (information and communication technology for development), design anthropology, design psychology, design Industry and the arts. The conference has helped to broaden participatory approaches in design around a variety of arenas including information and communication technologies, work, healthcare, learning, new media and digital culture, community settings, architecture and the urban environment, the arts, visual communication, interaction design and service design to mention some of the fields involved.
This first volume of the conference proceedings consists of the Full Papers accepted to the conference. The PDC review process for 2016 continued with the past practice of two-level, double-blind reviews originally introduced in 2012. This year meta-reviewers and reviewers were assigned by the full papers chairs to members of the Programme Committee on the basis of match of expertise. In 2016, for the first time, two rounds of reviewing were introduced to allow authors to maximize the benefits from the considerable engagement of reviewers with their work. Sixty-six full papers were initially submitted. Selection from these was based on the quality of the papers, their fit to the conference scope, and on their potential as conference contributions. As a result, the authors of 41 papers were invited to revise and resubmit for the second round of reviewing which again followed the first round practice of receiving reviews from three reviewers. Thirty-nine papers were submitted to the second round. The final selection of the 18 full papers, which are published in the proceedings, was based on the second round of reviewing and on the deliberations of the PDC2016 Programme Committee, which met in Copenhagen on 3-4 May. By way of comparison, PDC2014 received 62 papers initially, from which 17 were selected for presentation as full papers in Namibia. We firmly believe that the two rounds of reviewing for PDC2016 have enabled authors whose work has been selected to make use of the considerable volume of constructive comments from reviewers to improve and refine the contributions to the benefit of all PDC2016 participants. We further believe that reviewers’ efforts will also prove valuable to authors whose work we could not include as they pursue publication elsewhere.
Many members of the Programme Committee were able to contribute to the thematic clustering of the selected papers in a workshop, which concluded the May PC meeting. The full paper sessions are organized into the following themes each of which speaks to concerns relevant to the conference call and each of which evidences the responses of researchers to where PD’s challenges now reside. The themes are:
"Plurality" – this theme draws attention to design that is invested in recognizing and marshalling resources that are valued for their differences;contributions address the possibilities of social transformation of practical strategies to support commoning practices; of the value of respecting different types of expertise within stakeholder types; and of participation that engages explicitly, inclusively and creatively with the particularities of relationships and assemblies in PD.
"Participatory Conditions" – with contributions on methods and tools to support the expression of the multiple values of individuals and communities; the challenges for community-based PD in surfacing and negotiating conflicting values and interests; and how PD processes can be configured practically to draw out meaningful, richly creative participation which recognizes individuals’ unique qualities, needs and contributions.
"Long-term Trajectories" – contributions to this theme take a long view to question the endurance of a distinct technological research agenda within PD and to propose how computation might serve the exploration of sociotechnical alternatives; to use a focus on critical interrogation of design practices in relation to infra-structuring to reinvigorate how we imagine social and political possibilities; and to contribute to our understanding of how to create relationships that promote longevity of innovations which engage communities through uses of ICT.
"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.
"Participations’ Scope" – what constitutes an outcome and an enabler, evaluation strategies, limits to expectations; including contributions that question what qualifies as participation and to whom; how PD has been assessed against its original aims and implications of its accountability credentials; how the boundaries of PD initiatives relate to scope, expectations and are characterized as fluid; and looks at claims for the practice of making as a particular enabler of certain participatory values and practices.
We would like to thank the sponsors making this conference possible. This includes Aarhus University, Center for Participatory IT, Aarhus University Research Foundation, It-Vest, IT University of Copenhagen, Aalborg University, Roskilde University, and Interaction Design Foundation.
We would also like to thank all the people who contributed to making this conference possible. All the authors who submitted papers, the chairs of various committees, the program committee members, the workshop organisers, the local organizing committee, the student volunteers, and all of you who in one way or the other contributed to making this conference possible. Lastly thanks to all you who participate in the conference!
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages192
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4046-5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2016
EventParticipatory Design Conference 2016 - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 15 Aug 201619 Aug 2016
Conference number: 14


ConferenceParticipatory Design Conference 2016
LocationAarhus University


  • Participatory Design


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