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Wireless in the Weather-world and Community Networks Made to Last

Nicola J. Bidwell

I describe grassroots innovation and recursive engagement in Argentina by members of rural Community Networks (CNs), or decentralized telecommunications that people build and operate themselves. Hackers began the CNs to resist the dominant internet regime through peer collaboration but, these days, their members’ technical competences, life experiences and perspectives on communality and solidarity are diverse. I apply Tim Ingold’s concepts in analysing links between technology, social relations and bodies in the CNs, and how co-design of an app unfolded along paths of growth and repair. The WiFi network materialises the liveliness of processes that go into forming it, and the app materialises CN members’ efforts to enact awareness of their own nodes to maintain the network. The Argentine CNs and Ingold’s perspective on commoning illustrate that being aware of local details and adapting to the ways things are going in the living world is vital to making shared resources last.


How Do I matter? A Review of the Participatory Design Practice with Less Privileged Participants

María Laura Ramírez Galleguillos, Aykut Coşkun

In participatory design, different methods are applied to build individuals’ participation and engagement in design processes. Nonetheless, some less privileged participants can face more barriers to participation than others, e.g., being unable to exercise their voice. The literature lacks a unified source that guides PD researchers and practitioners in devising and implementing projects with groups facing more barriers to participation. This paper addresses this gap and advances the field in two ways. First, by presenting an assessment of the current state of the art through a review of 46 participatory projects that involved less privileged participants, it identifies the diversity of participants involved in these projects, and the methods and the stage of their involvement. It also frames three conceptualizations of PD and presents common challenges researchers and participants faced during these projects. Second, based on this analysis, it presents areas for further development and discusses the implications for PD.


Taller de Diseño e Innovación Comunitaria – TaDIC Reflexiones sobre una experiencia de diseño participativo en Colombia

Claudia Grisales, Laura Arosa, Fabio Fajardo, Farly León, Gustavo Ramírez, Laura Espitia, Cristian Ayala, Juan S. Camacho, Laura Villamil, Miguel Sánchez

En Colombia se han adelantado varias iniciativas de codiseño con enfoque comunitario que buscan fortalecer la capacidad creativa local para la innovación futura. Las narrativas al respecto suelen centrarse sobre los éxitos y resultados, sin ahondar en las dificultades que emergen de estas experiencias inmersivas de diseño participativo (DP), organizadas también bajo la misma filosofía en una compleja colaboración entre actores institucionales, académicos, comunitarios y gubernamentales. El presente artículo surge de un proceso de reflexión colectiva sobre la planeación y ejecución de un encuentro de co-diseño comunitario realizado en Tumaco, Colombia en 2019. Presentamos aprendizajes y retos de la experiencia de apropiación de una metodología de co-diseño, para su adaptación a perspectivas de alternativas al desarrollo y la modernidad. Este artículo contribuye a la discusión sobre los alcances e implicaciones de lo participativo en el DP.


When Participatory Design Becomes Policy: Technology Comprehension in Danish Education

Rachel Charlotte Smith, Claus Bossen, Christian Dindler, Ole Sejer Iversen

While several studies have addressed the challenge of sustaining PD initiatives over time and supporting large-scale participatory processes, little is known about how PD and ideals fare on a national scale. We examine the process in which outcomes from a PD project were used and implemented as part of a mandatory course in Technology Comprehension in K9 education, commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Education. Our study is based on interviews with 12 people from the Danish educational sector, ranging from schoolteachers to the Minister of Education. Our findings demonstrate that while knowledge generated in a PD project can travel to the level of national policy, significant challenges emerge when outcomes from bottom-up PD is used in top-down policy. We conclude the paper by reflecting on how PD is equipped to create impact through policy.

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