New publication: Taking Design Games Seriously

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“Taking Design Games Seriously: Re-connecting Situated Power Relations of People and Materials” is the title of a full paper that was presented at the Participatory Design Conference in Namibia in October 2014.

Using design games at Participatory Design (PD) events is well acknowledged as a fruitful way of staging participation. As PD researchers, we have many such experiences, and we have argued that design games connect participants and promote equalizing power relations. However, in this paper, we will (self) critically re-connect and reflect on how people (humans) and materials (non-humans) continually participate and intertwine in various power relations in design game situations. The analysis is of detailed situated actions with one of our recent games, UrbanTransition. Core concepts mainly from Bruno Latour’s work on Actor-Network-Theory are applied. The aim is to take design games seriously by e.g. exploring how assemblages of humans and non-humans are intertwined in tacitly-but-tactically staging participation, and opening up for or hindering negotiations and decision-making, thus starting to relate research on various PD techniques and power issues more directly.

The paper is co-written by Mette Agger Eriksen (Sweden), Eva Brandt (DK), Tuuli Mattelmäki (Finland) and Kirsikka Vaajakallio (Finland).

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About Eva Brandt, KADK

Eva Brandt is Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, and holds a Ph.D from 2001. Eva is co-leading the Center for Research in Codesign (CODE). Since September 2014 she has been part of the main faculty for a two year international MA-program in codesign. The main part of her research is about how designers can stage open design processes (design labs) with many participants who both can inquire into existing practices and explore possible futures in common. She also contributes to theorizing about experimental design research driven by programs and experiments. She has been contributing to several books such as Design Spaces (IT Press, 2005), Rehearsing the Future (The Danish Design School Press, 2010), XLAB (The Danish Design School Press, 2011), Facilitating Change – Using Interactive Methods in Organizations, Communities and Networks (Polyteknisk Forlag, 2011), and Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design (Routledge, 2013). Eva has been chairing the Nordic Design Research Conference in 2013.

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