Look out for the participatory design workshops

The participatory design conference takes place at RUC, Roskilde August 12-16 2012. Seven very interesting interactive workshops have just been accepted. Read the abstracts and information about the organizers here. Participation in the workshops require in most cases 2-page position papers. Full workshop descriptions can be found on pdc2012.org from May 8th.

Title: Participatory Design for Users with Impairments Affecting Cognitive Functions and Communication Skills


Karin Slegers KU Leuven (University of Leuven) / IBBT, Centre for User Experience Research
Helma van Rijn Delft University of Technology, ID-Studiolab
Pieter Duysburgh IBBT – SMIT / VUB
Niels Hendriks Social Spaces Research, MAD-Faculty/Faculty of Arts & Architecture KULeuven

Contact: Karin Slegers ( karin.slegers@soc.kuleuven.be )

Abstract: Involving people with impairments in the design process is very challenging, especially when impairments affect cognitive functions or communication. People with such impairments may have substantial problems with thought processes and communication, including understanding abstractions, sequencing thoughts and actions, understanding symbols, and interpreting social cues. Many participatory design techniques are based on these processes and are therefore not usable, or need to be adjusted for people with impairments. This workshop aims to exchange experiences with participatory design techniques that were designed for, or adapted to people with impairments. Since many of these techniques are highly focused on specific target groups, a further aim is to extract general principles and to generate guidelines for involving users with impairments in the design process.

Title: Participatory Design of Business Models


Jacob Buur University of Southern Denmark

Contact: Jacob Buur ( buur@mci.sdu.dk )

Abstract: The recent focus on user-driven innovation and open innovation signals a shift of concerns beyond the new product or service it self. The very model of how to make business is at play in most innovation projects today, in particular with the advent of Internet commerce. There are already examples of participatory design methods being applied to open up the process of business modeling to a wider circle of actors than those marketing managers that typically devise new business schemes. Traditional manufacturing companies with conventional product sales are challenged to consider alternative business models. Public organizations are under increasing pressure to consider themselves a business, with all that this entails in terms of new terminology.

To allow people without formal business education to take part in business model discussions means moving beyond text and spreadsheets. Designers can play a crucial role here. But participatory design of business models could sound like a contradiction in terms: Do the designers side with the exploiting rather than the exploited?

This workshop invites participants to bring experience from projects where business issues were part of the participatory negotiation, and to hone their position on the larger question of the role of PD in innovation.

Title: Exploring Actor Network Theory in Participatory design: reflections and implications for theory and practice


Cristiano Storni Interaction Design Centre – University of Limerick
Dagny Stuedahl InterMedia – University of Oslo
Thomas Binder The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Per Linde Medea – Centre for collaborative media – Malmö University/K3

Contact: Cristiano Storni ( cristiano.storni@ul.ie )

Abstract: In this workshop, we will explore the potential contribution of Actor Network Theory to Participatory design ‘s theory and practice. The links between the two are multiple and offers multiple occasions to appreciate ANT as a resource for PD (ANT as an analytical tool to explore and describe socio-technical settings to design for; ANT as a theory to reflect on design processes and practices; ANT as a tool to address participation in techno-scientific controversies). Given this background, the workshop seeks contributions in three areas: ANT as a descriptive tool for PD, ANT as conceptual framework for PD theory and practice, ANT and PD education.

Working with human values in design


Ole Sejer Iversen Aarhus University
Tuck Wah Leong Newcastle University
Geoffrey Bowker University of California
Judith Gregory University of California
Peter Wright University of Newcastle

Contact: Ole Sejer Iversen ( oiversen@cs.au.dk )

Abstract: A survey of the literature confirms that engaging with human values when designing technology is an important undertaking. However, despite these efforts, there is still considerable divergence and a lack of agreement in how we conceptualize and approach values during technology design. This workshop seeks to bring expertise from different perspectives on design to explore theoretical, methodological, and relational issues when working with values in design. The aim is to better conceptualize, understand and establish ways we can work more systematically and productively with human values in future designs.

Title: Participation – basic concepts and research challenges


Susanne Bødker Aarhus University
Kim Halskov Aarhus University

Contact: Kim Halskov ( halskov@cavi.dk )

Abstract: Participatory Design emerged as an area of research nearly four decades ago with a strong focus on the political dimension emphasizing people’s democratic rights to influence their own working conditions. During the recent years the context of use for information technology has spreads from the workplace to our homes, urban settings, rural areas, art, culture and almost all aspect of everyday life. The goal of the workshop is to shed light on to how the basic concept of ‘participation’ as well as other core concepts (democracy, emancipation, power, tradition and transcendence, experience) are being challenges in these the new domains. At a more general level, the goal of the workshop is to identify some of urgent research question the PD community is facing today.

Title: Workshop: Exploring participatory prototyping of services


Johan Blomkvist Linköping University
Fredrik Sandberg Linnaeus University
Bo Westerlund Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts & Design
Stefan Holmlid Linköping University

Contact: Bo Westerlund ( bo.westerlund@konstfack.se )

Abstract: This full day workshop intends to explore approaches, methods and techniques that can be used in participatory service prototyping. The participants will contribute with their experiences of different ways of working, in a variation of settings. During the workshop the participants will both get feedback on the methods or case that they present and explore during, and also get to learn other methods. One other aim of the workshop is to initiate research and development of knowledge within the emerging field of participatory prototyping of services and product service systems. One particular interest regards the relation between details and “the whole”.

Making Futures – Challenging Innovation


Pelle Ehn Malmö University
Laura Watts IT University
Richard Toppgård Malmö University
Erling Björgvinsson Malmö University
Per-Anders Hillgren Malmö University
Per Linde Malmö University
Elisabet Nilsson Malmö University
Anna Seravalli Malmö University
Anders Emilsson Malmö University

Contact: Pelle Ehn ( Pelle.Ehn@mah.se )

Abstract: Participatory design has always been about alternative futures: in the practice of (often marginalized) groups in society it has, through design practice, tried to support democratic changes. This started as actions research oriented collaboration with local trade unions at the workplace challenging the use of technology and the management prerogative to define what may count as innovation (Bjerknes et al. 1987).

Today participatory design is more and more taking place beyond the workplace: in public spaces, as engagement with NGOs, and other often marginalized groups. This is in line with its democratic tradition, but it also opens up new ways that we might re-conceptualise innovation as a form of invention (Barry 1999), and challenge the particular, often hegemonic, approaches to future-making in the corporate workplace. . Contemporary managerial ideology embraces ‘the crowd’ as a source of innovation. For example in the form of ‘user driven innovation’, ‘crowd-sourcing’, and focus group testing, with a strong rhetoric of accessible and participative design as a key to ‘democratizing innovation’. All this is often, however, within the perspective of the successful corporation and an unaltered market logic, which privileges particular crowds and particular places as centres of innovation (Suchman 2002): frequently the urban crowd or the perceived exotic,. In the workshop we challenge this logic of innovation by exploring the potential of participatory design cases and fieldwork perspectives that demonstrate a repertoire of differently situated practices of ‘future-making’– futures made locally, in heterogeneous communities, and with marginalised publics. (Björvinsson et al. 2010).

The organizers of the workshop invite participants to share their stories of alternative future making. The first part of the workshop will create a relational map of such cases, and in the second we will explore common themes, relations, and resistances, as well as practical and theoretical challenges.

Deadlines for position papers is June 1st – so look out for the workshops. Hope to see you at the Participatory Design conference in August.

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