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Performing citizenship through design?

Marcella Arruda, Michael Haldrup, Kristine Samson

In the face of global protests and conflicts over spatial rights, this paper proposes another framework for participatory design. As participation necessitates the question of participation in, what and for whom, we wish to bring in perspectives from citizens studies in which citizenship is something to be claimed, enacted and performed, as a potential for decolonizing the universal claim of participation in “participatory design” and reflecting on role of the designer in current social struggles. Instead of creating neutral participatory spaces for democratic dialogue, we argue that the designer may recognize the productivity of affective relations. With examples from a deportation camp in Denmark and a seminar in marginalized spaces of São Paulo, we address to how designers and activists turn the gaze from making minority groups participate in design and instead work with embodied and mediatized perspectives and the ethics of affect in the design process.


Sticks, Ropes, Land: Confronting Colonialism in Public Space Design

Jean Chisholm, Charlotte A. Falk, Laura E. Kozak

Common participatory design and community consultation practices often tokenize participants’ input. This can limit the depth of information shared, lead to disconnected understandings of site, and perpetuate hierarchical structures between designers, planners and the communities they seek to serve. Sticks, Ropes, Land proposes alternative approaches for engaging with community stewards and groups who get marginalized in the design of public space. Through the development of practices that pair material-based methods of making with activities grounded in direct connections to place, Sticks, Ropes, Land puts forward approaches to participatory design that aim to question and problematize colonial structures in relation to public space design. This paper examines a series of three approaches that designers might consider towards the work of serving and supporting the agency and rights of place-based communities.


Participatory Housing – Segal’s Self-build Method

Luisa Hilmer

This paper joins an already vibrant discussion about the challenging nature of Participatory Design (PD) in British housing design. Through an analysis of a case study – Walter Segal’s self-build method – it investigates how architects and residents fostered participation to engage communities in the decision-making process. The study suggests that participatory methods applied by practitioners let communities play an increasing role as driving forces for participation. In particular, it explores the relationship between the architect Walter Segal and Lewisham residents and simultaneously illuminates the structural and fundamental levels of PD through which housing design inevitably shapes the lives of its users. It demonstrates that PD processes in architecture require a design historical revaluation because they are significantly linked to material culture. In doing so, this paper highlights the correlation between design history and architectural practice as a possible platform for a reflection on the built environment and PD.

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