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Challenging the current state of PD and looking at the future of participation

Opening keynote at the Participatory Design Conference 2016 by Morten Kyng and Susanne Bødker, Computer Science, Aarhus University.

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Wednesday 17 August 2016,  at 09:00 - 10:30

Motivated by the milestone achieved by the Participatory Design Conference – celebrating its 25 years anniversary, we contribute with a keynote where we look at the past, present and possible futures of participatory design. In particular, we revisit some of the early Scandinavian projects, and bring attention to issues like ‘systems-that-matter’ and ‘systems-in-use’ as well as other core elements, which we argue have become almost invisible in contemporary participatory design research. We use this insight to critically examine the current state of participatory design, in research as well as in real-life projects. The keywords for our criticism as well as for discussing future possibilities include: Motivation, scale, alternatives, conflicts, action, results, open platforms, and control. In our discussion of future possibilities, we present current large-scale projects as inspiration for developing future research agendas for participatory design. In particular, we position PD in an era of participation where user-involvement has been adopted by public and private organizations, and we suggest focusing on both participation and control.