University of Oulu

Suvi Pihkala and Helena Karasti. 2022. Towards Response-able PD: Putting Feminist New Materialisms to Work in the Practices of Participatory Design. In Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference 2022 - Volume 1 (PDC '22). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 98–108.

Towards response-able PD : putting feminist new materialisms to work in the practices of participatory design

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Author: Pihkala, Suvi1; Karasti, Helena2
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Digital Design Department, IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-02


This paper contributes to recent discussions in the field of Participatory Design (PD) that have considered relationality, becoming, non-human and more-than-human to invent alternative, more expansive, responsible, and accountable ways of understanding and doing PD. To add to these PD discussions of sociomaterial relationality and emergence, our aim is to bring PD practices into generative dialogue with feminist new materialist praxis. For this, we consider our past and ongoing participatory research and design engagements related to collaboration with union professionals and creative research-activism with children. Drawing methodological insights from the ways in which sociomaterial relationality and becoming informed these processes, we explore how feminist new materialism can inform PD 1) when setting up participatory practices, 2) when engaging during design events, and 3) when re-thinking designer-researchers’ responsibilities and accountabilities as unfolding from multiplicitous, multiscalar engagements. We tentatively propose the notion of response-able PD to bring these insights together.

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ISBN Print: 978-1-4503-9388-1
Pages: 98 - 108
DOI: 10.1145/3536169.3537784
Host publication: Embracing cosmologies: expanding worlds of participatory design. Proceedings of the 17th participatory design conference, 19th August-1st September 2022, online and Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Host publication editor: Vlachokyriakos, Vasilis
Yee, Joyce
Grönvall, Erik
Noronha, Raquel
Botero, Andrea
Del Gaudio, Chiara
Akama, Yoko
Clarke, Rachel
Vines, John
Conference: Participatory Design Conference
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: We acknowledge the Openrisk project and its participants as well as the work of FIRE research collective, led by Tuija Huuki, which have made our contemplations possible. The first author’s work was funded by Academy of Finland (grant number 322612).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 322612
Detailed Information: 322612 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Copyright held by the owner/author(s) | ACM 2022. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Embracing Cosmologies: Expanding Worlds of Participatory Design. Proceedings of the 17th Participatory Design Conference, 19th August-1st September 2022, Online and Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK,