Participation in design research

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To unravel the complex challenges addressed by design, oftentimes it can be
necessary for researchers to participate in design processes rather than make
observations from outside. However, ‘participation’ has different meanings in
different kinds of design research, and research outcomes will depend on the
form of participation chosen. Through a Dimensional Analysis, we establish
seven dimensions on how participation in design research can be classified in
terms of 1) the researcher-designer role, 2) the aim of the project, 3) the main
contribution, 4) the activities of the researcher, 5) if it is a single or multi-case
study, 6) the scientific reporting on the project, and 7) the kind of knowledge
produced. This overview aims to assist researchers in communicating how
choices for a particular participatory approach contribute to knowledge
production in design research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalDesign Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • design research
  • Research methods
  • participatory design
  • participa- tory research
  • auto-ethnography


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