OCAD University Open Research Repository

Rethinking Participatory Design Research Methodologies

Spencer, Chantal (2022) Rethinking Participatory Design Research Methodologies. In: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD11, 3-16 Oct 2022, Brighton, United Kingdom.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (3MB) | Preview
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (135kB) | Preview
Official URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/


This presentation is an exploration of changemaking design practices centred around the problematics of engagement through the lens of micro-(im)mobilities (Sheller, 2018, p2) that are reproduced in conventional participatory design and research methodologies. I have observed that traditional social design, co-design and focus group models of academic social research lean heavily on the labour of the oppressed for the gain of those in positions of power.

As a disabled woman with fluctuating health, mental and physical capacities, I must live in an extremely mindful way, measuring my energy levels and outputs like they are granules of gold dust. This gives me a lesser travelled path to and through my research and allows me a particular sensitivity to the burdens that I require of the people whom my work will benefit. With this in mind, as a consistent and defining characteristic of the experiences that myself and others are familiar with, I am working on a theoretical positioning around the principle of minimising the burden of change on the shoulders of the oppressed. I am working towards a balance between paternalistic speaking for others and the ideology of Nothing About Us Without Us (Germon, 2000). Having said that, I feel strongly that intersectional communities should be represented and be in decision-making positions of power and that “in some instances speaking for others constitutes a violence” (Alcoff, 1991). However, I would argue that in many instances requiring others to speak for themselves to attain basic human rights is also a violence. Additionally, we are always speaking for others, even if we identify as a member of that community. Meadows discusses leverage points in the system (Meadows, 1999); my work aims to better understand and communicate the ontological perspectives of marginalised people within the paradigm of change-making and how they manifest as pressure points in the system. I aim to show that careful consideration of this standpoint can be a catalyst to creativity rather than a barrier to overcome.

This presentation includes examples of previous projects that have been designed from this standpoint. I will also be discussing and sharing personal reflections on my own experiences as a disabled woman in academia and the importance of Cripping my work. I will explore ways in which Crip culture can be assimilated into research practices to the benefit of the participants and the researcher.

Item Type: Conference/Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: participatory design research, Crip culture, design justice, mobility justice, co-design, systemic injustice
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 17 May 2024 20:46
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 21:00
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4523

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View