Social Technologies: Challenges and Opportunities for Participation

I’m pleased to be presenting at this years Participatory Design Conference, at UTS in Sydney. Below is the abstract from the paper (Preprint Version PDF) which explores how social technologies both enable and demand new participatory approaches to designing with our future communities, that push design out of the studio and ‘into the wild’.

This paper is about new forms of participation that are enabled as a result of social technologies. The premise is that social technologies simultaneously create and demand an engagement with the dynamic relations of design and use and that this gives rise to new forms of participation ‘in the wild’. Our aim is to contribute to understandings and practices of participatory design in this emerging context. Underpinning our research is a question of how the understandings of, and commitment to, participation represented by Participatory Design intersect with the notion of participation as a broader cultural phenomenon. Using examples from recent practice-led research we reflect on the potential conditions for participation in early design that social technologies represent, the role of social technologies in enabling these experiences, and the challenges we have faced in embracing such participatory approaches in commercial contexts.


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