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Sustaining Participatory Design Initiatives

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While many participatory design (PD) projects succeed in establishing new organisational initiatives or creating technology that is attuned to the people affected, the issue of how such results are sustained after the project ends remains an important challenge. We explore the challenge of sustaining PD initiatives beyond the individual project and discuss implications for PD practice. First, based on current PD literature, we distinguish between four ideal typical forms of sustainability: maintaining, scaling, replicating and evolving. Second, we demonstrate from a case study how these various forms of sustainability may be pursued in PD practice and how they can become a resource in reflecting on PD activities. Finally, we discuss implications for PD practice, suggesting that a nuanced conception of sustainability and how it may relate to PD practice are useful resources for designers and researchers before, during and after design processes.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalCoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts
Volume10
Issue3-4
Pages (from-to)153-170
Number of pages18
ISSN1571-0882
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2014

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