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Liesbeth Huybrechts <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 18 May 2016 15:39:15 +0200
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We are very happy to announce the call for papers for our special
issue "Co-design
and the public realm"
will be published in “CoDesign. International Journal of CoCreation in
Design and the Arts“. We invite you to contribute to this call by
submitting a paper. Contributions to the discussion on the themes addressed
in the call can also be submitted on the TRADERStalkplatform
<>. For any further questions, please do not
hesitate to contact us. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might find
it interesting.

*CFP: Co-design and the Public Realm.*
Special Issue of CoDesign - International Journal of CoCreation in Design
and the Arts

Guest editors: Liesbeth Huybrechts, Jon Geib, Hilde Heynen, Henric Benesch,
Jessica Schoffelen

Co-design’s engagement with the public realm is rooted in an activist
tradition aspiring to increase democratic participation of diverse societal
groups in design activities related to public space, services, systems or
policy. This is partly due to its historical relationship with the
tradition of Scandinavian Participatory Design (PD) that developed in the
1970s and shared concerns and values with labour unions in emancipating
workers at the workplace (Bannon & Ehn, 2012, p. 39; Lenskjold, Olander,
Halse, 2015). However, since the rise of the Post-Fordist era, the
engagement of co-design with the public realm has changed: it has been
influenced by increasing globalisation, flexibility, rapid technological
developments, a highly diverse and competitive market and accordingly
changing social conditions (Boudry et al, 2003, 43). Many aspects that were
traditionally part of the public domain – such as mobility or communication
infrastructure – shifted to the private domain, resulting in progressively
more complex relations with governance and regulation (Graham & Marvin,
1994; Davis, 1990; Harvey 1994, Christopherson 1994). In short, in a
Post-Fordist context, designing takes place across previously delineated
contrasting pillars (or economic sectors, socio-political families, and
discourses), such as public/private, work/leisure, local/global, the
boundaries between which become increasingly blurred.

In Design for The Real World (1971), Papanek saw engaging with activism and
the market as antithetical. Post-fordism has eradicated prior distinctions,
whereby today co-design is being simultaneously applied to improving labour
relations, consumption and political activism, by bringing a wide range of
actors together to identify and develop that which is to come. In this
context, it is not unusual that participation and co-design act as a
conduit for market forces and other forms of private interest. This has
again – but in different ways than in the 1970s – intensified the discourse
in co-design on the political and public sphere. This prompts some
questions that we would like to address in the framework of this special

What are the consequences, tensions and challenges of co-design engaging
with the public realm when that realm is increasingly entangled with
private forces?
What concepts, frameworks, tools, methods are used and what values are
pursued to answer these challenges?
In an era of growing social, ecological and economic injustice, is the
answer found in the mobilisation of all possible forces, including design,
in order to challenge the marketisation of the political?
Or, on the contrary, is the answer to pull back and rethink co-design in
this era of blurred boundaries?
Additionally, are divisions between public and private productive; or are
there other alternatives?

We invite authors to submit research papers in relation to one or more of
the above questions. Fieldwork can be used to enrich the discussion on the
above questions and to allow us to revisit co-design addressing the public
realm in a Post-Fordist era.

March 2016: Launch of the call
30th of September 2016: Submission of full papers
30th of December 2016: Post-review notification of decisions
30th of March 2017: Deadline for submission of revised papers
30th of May: Final selected papers to production
30th of September 2017: Publication of the Special Issue

Bannon, L. J. & Ehn, P. (2012). Design: Design Matters in Participatory
Design. In Simonsen, J. and Robertsen T. (eds.) Routledge International
Handbook of Participatory Design. New York, NY.: Routledge, pp 37-63.

Boudry, L. Cabus, P. Coryn, E., De Rynck, F., Kesteloot, C., Loeckx, A.
(2003). De Eeuw van de Stad. Over stadsrepublieken en rastersteden.
Brussel: Project Stedenbeleid, Administratie Binnenlandse aangelegenheden.

Christopherson, S. (1994) The Fortress City: Privatized Spaces, Consumer
Citizenship. In Amin, A. (Ed.). (2011). Post-Fordism: a reader. John Wiley
& Sons.

Davis, M. (1990). City of quartz. Excavating the Future in Los
Angeles.London: Vintage.

Graham, S. & Marvin, S. (1994). More than Ducts and Wires: Post-Fordism,
cities and utility networks.
In Healey, P. Et al (eds), (1994) Managing Cities: The New Urban Context,
London- John Wiley

Lenskjold, T.U., Olander, S. Halse, J (2015). Minor Design Activism:
Prompting Change from Within. Design Issues 31 (4), pp. 66-77.

Harvey, D. (1994) Flexible Accumulation through Urbanization: Reflections
on ‘Post-modernism’ in the American City. In Amin, A. (Ed.). (2011).
Post-Fordism: a reader. John Wiley & Sons.

Papanek, Victor (1971). Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social
Change. New York, Pantheon Books.

We invite full manuscripts by 30th of September 2016, which will be
subjected to the normal review procedure of the journal. Papers submitted
in response to this call are expected to address the questions it raises.
The guest editors will reject papers judged to be outside the scope of the
call without further review.

Manuscripts should be prepared according to guidelines which can be found
on the journal website ( – link “Instructions
for Authors”). All submissions should be made online at the CoDesign
Manuscript Central site at: Authors
submitting to CoDesign for the first time will need to create an account.
Instructions on how to do this can be found on the same website.

All published articles will undergo rigorous peer review, based on the
guest editors’ initial screening and anonymous refereeing by independent
expert referees.

(Potential) authors should contact [log in to unmask] with any
questions about this special issue.

Find this call at: and

ArcK research group, Faculty of Architecture and Arts, University of
Hasselt, Belgium
Agoralaan Gebouw E, B-3590 Diepenbeek

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