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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 18:26:04 +0000
Olof Torgersson <[log in to unmask]>
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Olof Torgersson <[log in to unmask]>
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Call for Papers

The Clothesline Approach to Notions in Participatory Design

A workshop at The Participatory Design Conference (PDC) in Aarhus 2016, August 15.

A notion represents the understanding of something. When we talk about this something, we shape how we understand it through the use of notions and expressions. Notions affect the interaction between different stakeholders and a lack of a shared language easily leads to misunderstandings, confusion, or a general failure of communication. Many notions in design draw on comparison, analogy and metaphor to illustrate or emphasize some issue. Metaphors shape how things are perceived, experienced and interpreted, and even govern thoughts. When notions carry metaphors, they frame the way both designers and stakeholders think about e.g. problems and solutions, or opportunities while both concealing and revealing], highlighting certain aspects and setting priorities.
Notions have implications in participatory design research and practice, as what notion is used has consequences for how an issue is dealt with. For example, what does the notion ‘participant’, imply in a design situation? A recent literature review of PDC papers reveals diverse definitions of ‘participation’, ranging from the goal of ‘involving users’, without further qualification, to more elaborate discussions of the idea of participation as a core aspect of PD. The aim of this workshop is to contribute insight on how notions may reframe and recreate participatory design practice, while also providing an overview of current norms and notions in use.


We invite researchers and practitioners to bring a plurality of perspectives and expertise related to the use of notions in participatory design. What do they mean and how are they used? How could a change of notions affect our perspective on participation and design? The workshop will apply a clothesline approach in order to identify and sort, wash and tumble, some of the notions used in the community, and air them for better alternatives.

We invite submissions of positions papers as 2-4 pages PDF documents following the SIGCHI publications template (
Contributions to the workshop should expand on how specific notions are central to the practice and theory of PD and how they may be problematic. For instance a contribution can concern one or more of the following key issues related to notions:

-Notions referring to concepts and methods in practice, research and education
-Notions revealing the dark side of participatory design
-Exclusive vs inclusive notions in design
-Discriminating notions
-Notions that reveal power relations in the history of participatory design
-Disruptive notions that change how an issue is framed

Position papers should be submitted to: eva.eriksson @

The deadline for position papers submissions is July 1, and authors will be notified by July 15. All submissions will be peer reviewed by the workshop organizers.


Eva Eriksson, Chalmers University of Technology
Viktor Hjort af Ornäs, Chalmers University of Technology
Kalle Klockars, University of Gothemnburg
Sara Ljungblad, University of Gothenburg
Olof Torgersson, University of Gothenburg

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