Expanding Participation to Design with More-Than-Human Concerns

Yoko Akama, Ann Light, Takahito Kamihira

Participatory Design’s focus on people comes from a social democratic vision. However, as climate and existential crises press us to consider wellbeing beyond humans alone, we ask what a pluriversal design agenda might include and what could be articulated as ‘participatory’? Necessarily, this inquiry has limits, as participation usually implies human voice, rights, representation and structures of decision-making. This paper commits to these concerns while asking ethical, political and onto-epistemological questions regarding how worlds and futures are shaped when more-than-human entities – plants, animals, rocks, rivers and spirits – participate in our becoming? We offer a meeting of feminist techno-science with practices and philosophies from Japan and beyond to offer thought experiments in engaging with difference and plurality. And we give several examples of practice situated at ontological boundaries to offer some novel thoughts on ‘participation otherwise’, always-participating-with-many and the futures this could usher in.


Un/Making in the Aftermath of Design

Kristina Lindström, Åsa Ståhl

This paper takes as its starting point the fact that we live in the aftermath of previous making and design. For participatory design to adequately answer to this aftermath, we suggest building on a combination of participatory and speculative design approaches in everyday life settings and exploring the practice of un/making matters. The paper draws on two cases where participants have been invited to engage with recent scientific findings and practices – one where they explore the practice of un/making plastic waste through composting, and one on un/making polluted soil through plants that can accumulate metals. By not primarily aiming at feeding into new iterations of a design process, there is an openness for speculating beyond the given systems, and to bring into question imaginaries of constant progress, which have been part of generating these lingering matters.


«All Celebrities and Sports on Top» Prototyping Automation for and with Editors

Sverre Norberg-Schulz Hagen, Guri B. Verne, Tone Bratteteig

Designing for interacting with data-driven approaches is a new challenge that PD will have to address. This paper presents a case of prototyping for automation of editors’ manual curating of the online front-page of a large newspaper. The editors make decisions about the presentation and placement of article teasers on the front-page. A new data-driven tool, which automates curating the front-page based on quantitative rankings, is about to be introduced. We have developed a prototype to discuss with the editors how they want support for carrying out their judgment-based decisions for a front-page with a good mix of news topics. We present concepts for discussing how manual tasks that interact with data-driven automation can be designed to be meaningful for people in their work.


Aproximaciones a un diseño participativo sentipensante: correspondencias con un colectivo de residentes en Río de Janeiro

Maria Cristina Ibarra

Una de las características principales del diseño participativo (DP) es la reflexión en la acción colectiva, de acuerdo con Robertson y Simonsen. Con ella, establece una crítica a la separación mente, cuerpo y mundo. En este artículo, busco ampliar esta discusión colocando en diálogo diferentes autores, específicamente desde una perspectiva latinoamericana. Partiendo del concepto ‘sentipensar’, propuesto por el sociólogo colombiano Orlando Fals Borda, busco juntar las bases para reflexionar sobre un diseño participativo sentipensante. Para eso, establezco características intentando abrir una discusión y reflexión sobre ellas a partir de una experiencia en campo, como diseñadora, con un grupo de residentes de un barrio de Río.