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Thu, 23 Jun 2016 14:18:45 +0000
"Bardzell, Jeffrey S" <[log in to unmask]>
"Bardzell, Jeffrey S" <[log in to unmask]>
"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
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A Special Issue of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM TOCHI)

We seek original contributions for a Special Issue of TOCHI on Reimagining Participatory Design (PD).

In particular, we seek research contributions that address the potentials and failures of participatory design in pursuing its democratizing project in emerging Information Technology (IT) domains. We solicit research papers that open up new horizons in Participatory Design for the field, or critically examine successes and failures of the past. Conceptual, methodological, and empirical papers are welcome.

When participatory design related to information technology in the workplace emerged in the 1970s, it sought to rebalance power and agency among managers and workers. Today’s Information Technology domains are more heterogeneous and less defined, and in many new contexts, it is difficult to bring sociotechnical conflicts into the open, whereby stakeholders are empowered to participate. As a result, power and agency seems to have gravitated away from end users and other stakeholders to government and multinational agencies.

Meanwhile, participatory design often seems to have become synonymous with a more neutral form of ‘user-centered’ design, concentrating on more local issues of usability and user satisfaction.

This is in contrast to earlier work in the field where Participatory Design not only sought to incorporate users in design, but also to intervene upon situations of conflict through developing more democratic processes.

This special issue extends an invitation to think boldly about the future of participatory design.

As guidance for possible topics for special issue contributions, we ask questions including (but not limited to) the following:

* How are Information Technology systems today embedded in, or embodying, political conflicts such that Participatory Design could make a positive contribution?

* What is (or should be) the role of Participatory Design in new computing contexts, including makers, ubiquitous computing, robotics, Internet of Things, cultural and creative industries, and other emerging trends?

* How do we make sense of, and enact change in global coordination protocols that embody problematic power relations and scant worker protection? (e.g., crowdsourcing models such as Amazon Mechanical Turk.)

* In what ways has participatory design failed to give voice to the marginal? How has it ignored, coopted, homogenized marginal voices? How might it do better?

* How does, should, or could Participatory Design intersect with critical design, speculative design, feminist HCI, action research, design fictions, HCI for peace, and so forth?

* How can Participatory Design help designers move from helping people do what they are already doing towards helping them make better decisions in future projects?


Abstracts due Sept 15, 2016. We strongly recommend informal submission of abstracts to the special issue editors at [log in to unmask]

Final manuscripts are due Oct 05, 2016, but earlier submissions are encouraged.


Liam Bannon (University of Limerick and Aarhus University)
Jeffrey Bardzell (Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing)
Susanne Bødker (Aarhus University & Associate Editor, TOCHI)

For questions, please contact  [log in to unmask]


Pre-Submission Abstract Due: Sept 15, 2016 (email to [log in to unmask])
Full Manuscript Submission deadline: Oct 05, 2016 (must submit to:

The tentative reviewing timeline is as follows:

Reviews Due: Dec 15, 2016
First-round notifications to authors: Jan 10, 2017
First-round revisions due: March 1, 2017

Papers that pass the first round of reviewing will enter revisions and a second round of consideration:

Second-round reviews due: May 1, 2017
Second-round results to authors: May 10, 2017
Second-round (final) author notifications: May 10, 2017
Final revisions Due: Aug 10, 2017
Special Issue Published: Late 2017 (estimated)

All contributions will be rigorously peer reviewed to the usual exacting standards of TOCHI. Further information, including TOCHI submission procedures and advice on formatting and preparing manuscripts, can be found at:

Manuscripts are submitted via the ACM online manuscript system at:

Please note that TOCHI remains open to regular submissions, as well, throughout the special issue call.

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