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"Steen, M.G.D. (Marc)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Steen, M.G.D. (Marc)
Mon, 4 Aug 2008 11:24:48 +0200
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Call for participation

WORKSHOP: "Politics and Ethics of Participatory Design" 
EXTENDED DEADLINE: 28 August (positioning papers)
More information on the workshop: 

To be held at 19 October, as part of NordiCHI 2008, Lund, Sweden, 20-22
October 2008
More information on the conference: 

Workshop themes

In this workshop we will be concerned with the ethics and politics that
practitioners of Participatory Design* (PD) encounter. We use words like
"politics" and "ethics" to talk about practices. We will be primarily
interested in practices of PD and in how practitioners organize and
experience PD practically. We think that PD practitioners often find
themselves in situations with -- often implicit -- political and ethical

E.g. when they realize that they are representing users: portraying them
and acting as their spokespersons -- which can be different than letting
users participate directly; E.g. when they find themselves in a field of
interacting forces and realize that they are themselves agents within
this field and wish to be held accountable for their role(s); E.g. when
they realize that their ambition to let users participate (participatory
design) or to have empathy for users (empathic design) are compromised
by practical circumstances; E.g. when they are questioned about how they
made particular choices, how they dealt with responsibility and freedom,
or when they ask themselves such questions; Etcetera. 

During the workshop and based on our own experiences, projects and
cases, we will make such political and ethical qualities explicit and
discuss these -- rather than letting them remain implicit.

Workshop goals
* To share experiences and reflections on the political and ethical
qualities of PD, from our different practices. 
* To create a shared understanding of the politics and ethics that are
involved in PD practice. 
* To articulate recommendations for taking these politics and ethics
into account when organizing and conducting PD. 
* To articulate ideas for how PD practitioners can make themselves
accountable for their own agency and role(s). 

Interested in participation? 

We would like to invite practitioners and scholars who have hands-on
experience in PD and who wish to critically reflect on the politics and
ethics of PD to submit a positioning paper of 2-4 pages. Please email
your positioning paper before 28 August to: The
organizers will review the papers and select participants based on
these. We will send notifications of acceptance or rejection before 2
September (Early registration is until 19 September). If you have any
questions, suggestions or remarks, please contact Marc Steen

Workshop organizers
* Marc Steen (, TNO Information and
Communication Technology (, Delft,
The Netherlands
* Jelle van Dijk / Remko van der Lugt, Hogeschool Utrecht (University of
Applied Sciences), The Netherlands
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