University of Oulu

Matin Mahboob Kanafi, Marianne Kinnula and Netta Iivari. Re-defining Characteristics of a Design Protagonist – Elements of Children’s Design Capital. DOI:

Re-defining characteristics of a Design Protagonist : elements of children’s design capital

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Author: Mahboob Kanafi, Matin1; Kinnula, Marianne1; Iivari, Netta1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: British Computer Society, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-13


The importance of child empowerment in and through design and making has been acknowledged. The notion of “child as a Design Protagonist” concerning technology has recently been introduced. We conducted a narrative literature review to examine the current understanding of what it requires from children to become a Protagonist in design. The main objective of this study is to examine the concepts associated with children’s competences relevant for design, such as various capitals, skills, and capacities. We identify core concepts used as well as several gaps in this literature base. We separate the competences into 1) those that need to be nurtured in children and 2) those that children already have and bring to the design process. We propose a concept of design capital for mapping these competences of child Design Protagonists.

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Series: Electronic workshops in computing
ISSN: 1477-9358
ISSN-E: 1477-9358
ISSN-L: 1477-9358
Pages: 226 - 240
DOI: 10.14236/ewic/HCI2021.24
Host publication: Proceedings of the BCS 34th British HCI Conference 2021, UK
Conference: British HCI Conference
Type of Publication: B3 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 6132 Visual arts and design
Copyright information: © Kanafi et al. Published by BCS Learning & Development Ltd. Proceedings of the BCS 34th British HCI Conference 2021, UK License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit