Participatory Design Going Digital: Challenges and Opportunities for Distributed Place-Making

G. Slingerland, Maria Murray, Stephan Lukosch, John McCarthy, F.M. Brazier

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Abstract

COVID-19 has urged researchers to explore new options for distributed participatory design, as physical meetings and workshops became unfeasible. This situation posed new challenges but also opportunities, in particular with respect to engagement and inclusion. This paper focuses on distributed PD with Irish teenagers to support place-making during this period: to build relationships with each other and the community. In a two-week online summer school, teenagers explored a concern or highlighted a unique aspect of their local community and designed digital artworks in response. Activities and materials were designed to support reflection, empowerment, inclusiveness, emergence, and playfulness for participatory place-making. Analysis of the summer school provides insights and guidance on the design of online PD for engaging experiences, especially in the context of place-making.

Keywords

  • Digital arts
  • Local communities
  • Participatory design
  • Place-making
  • Summer School

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