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What it means to take part

Design With
What it means to take part
By Design With • Issue #26 • View online
I hope you’ve been well. I’m looking forward to getting Design With into your inbox more regularly this year.

This month
This month
I think part of being interested in designing with people is trying to understand what this might look like.
There’s more than one way that participation can show up or be defined. As Sarah Fathallah has said, “participatory design, in its definition, really depends on who is defining it.”
Some people have helped define these terms, like, Alba Villamil, who said:
“Co-design involves shared decision-making power over the creation process while participatory design only implies involvement. So all co-design is participatory but not all participatory design is co-design.”
Kelly-Ann McKercher shares their views on this often. Most recently, they created a tool for understanding if you’re doing co-design. KA, I think, sees participation as a spectrum. So did Arnstein.
In this issue, I’ve looked at interesting projects through the lens of what it means to take part. What is the person, who is participating, doing? How might their experience help us understand design?
"[Some] frame co-design as the peak of a pyramid. Other forms of engagement are lower down, labelled 'less participatory.' In implication, less worthwhile. This framing is narrow. While co-design can be powerful, even the best tools aren’t suitable for every task." KA McKercher (they/them) and Georgia Gardner (they/them)
"[Some] frame co-design as the peak of a pyramid. Other forms of engagement are lower down, labelled 'less participatory.' In implication, less worthwhile. This framing is narrow. While co-design can be powerful, even the best tools aren’t suitable for every task." KA McKercher (they/them) and Georgia Gardner (they/them)
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Design With

A monthly newsletter curated by Tyler Gindraux, a researcher and service designer.

Design With is for people who practice or are interested in participatory approaches to research and design.

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