University of Oulu

Joanna Saad-Sulonen, Eva Eriksson, Kim Halskov, Helena Karasti & John Vines (2018) Unfolding participation over time: temporal lenses in participatory design, CoDesign, 14:1, 4-16, DOI: 10.1080/15710882.2018.1426773

Unfolding participation over time : temporal lenses in participatory design

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Author: Saad-Sulonen, Joanna1; Eriksson, Eva2,3; Halskov, Kim4;
Organizations: 1INTERACT Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Center for Participatory IT, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Sweden
3Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
4Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
5Northumbria School of Design, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-03-07


Participatory design (PD) research has historically strongly focused on the reporting of design events (e.g. workshops and prototyping activities with participants), where issues such as ‘involving users’, including the users’ point of view, and participation as a matter of mutual learning have been in the foreground. The need to further problematise and critically examine participation is nonetheless apparent. This special issue aims to shed light on participation as it unfolds over time during, between and beyond participatory events such as these. Here, we build an overview of existing directions taken by researchers to address the unfolding of participation in IT design over time. We do this by examining existing PD literature and the four contributions to this special issue. We identify two common temporalities in PD, the future-oriented and the project-based, and propose five lenses that may aid researchers in exploring and understanding the temporal dimensions of participation in their projects: the phasic, emergent, retrospective, prospective and longterm lenses. We end with propositions and opportunities for future research directions in PD, highlighting the multi-faceted nature of the temporality of participation.

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Series: CoDesign
ISSN: 1571-0882
ISSN-E: 1745-3755
ISSN-L: 1571-0882
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Pages: 4 - 16
DOI: 10.1080/15710882.2018.1426773
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Participatory IT research centre at Aarhus University. Joanna Saad-Sulonen’s work was funded by the Academy of Finland [grant number 308156].
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 308156
Detailed Information: 308156 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.