New international handbook of Participatory Design

At a time when user-centred design has become the norm, the need for a state of the art guide to the commitments and practices that distinguish the field of Participatory Design has never been greater. The Handbook collects together authors with intensive and long term experience in the field, and invites them to write on topics central to its history and future. The result is essential reading for researchers, students and practitioners who are interested or already engaged in the participatory design of information and communications technologies. The Handbook offers us an opportunity to immerse ourselves in what is not so much a definitive collection (as Participatory Design is always in motion), as a defining moment in this continuously unfolding collaborative project. —Professor Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University, UK

ICT has become a highly integrated part of the everyday life of billions of people, highlighting the tendency in current ICT design practices to underestimate the complexity of work and misunderstand the nature of human activity. This is the background for a surge in interest in user involvement and user driven innovation, an interest that is often focused on instrumental issues. The new handbook offers a unique set of insights, principles and experiences, which can enrich new design projects. The reader learns about design, ethnography, methods, tools and techniques as well as ethics and the heritage from the 1970s and ‘80s. Thus the book prepares the readers for their own struggles with design in the field of tension between Participatory Design – classic or re-invented – and mainstream projects in search of new ways of involving people. —Professor Morten Kyng, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Participatory Design is about the direct involvement of people in the co-design of the technologies they use. Its central concern is how collaborative design processes can be driven by the participation of the people affected by the technology designed. Embracing a diverse collection of principles and practices aimed at making technologies, tools, environments, businesses, and social institutions more responsive to human needs, the Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design is a state-of-the-art reference handbook for the subject. The Handbook brings together a multidisciplinary and international group of highly recognized experts to present an authoritative overview of the field and its history and discuss contributions and challenges of the pivotal issues in Participatory Design, including heritage, ethics, ethnography, methods, tools and techniques and community involvement. The book also highlights three large-scale case studies which show how Participatory Design has been used to bring about outstanding changes in different organisations. The book shows why Participatory Design is an important, highly relevant and rewarding area for research and practice. It will be an invaluable resource for students, researchers, scholars and professionals in Participatory Design.

Jesper Simonsen is Professor of Design Studies in the Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies at Roskilde University, Denmark. Since 1991 he has conducted research in collaboration with industry on Participatory Design developing theories and methods for IT design in an organizational context. His publications include Participatory IT Design: Designing for Business and Workplace Realities (MIT Press, 2004), and Design Research: Synergies from Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Routledge, 2010).

Toni Robertson is Professor of Interaction Design in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Her research focuses on understanding and designing the interaction between people, their activities and technology, and the issues surrounding the use of technology in actual work and social settings. Her work has been published widely in the Interaction Design, Participatory Design, Human–Computer Interaction and Computer Supported Cooperative Work literature.

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