An examination of the knowledge barriers in participatory design and the prospects for embedded research

Segalowitz, Miri & Brereton, Margot (2010) An examination of the knowledge barriers in participatory design and the prospects for embedded research. In OZCHI 2009 Proceedings : Design: Open 24/7, ACM Digital Library, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.

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Participatory design has the moral and pragmatic tenet of including those who will be most affected by a design into the design process. However, good participation is hard to achieve and results linking project success and degree of participation are inconsistent. Through three case studies examining some of the challenges that different properties of knowledge – novelty, difference, dependence – can impose on the participatory endeavour we examine some of the consequences to the participatory process of failing to bridge across knowledge boundaries – syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic. One pragmatic consequence, disrupting the user’s feeling of involvement to the project, has been suggested as a possible explanation for the inconsistent results linking participation and project success. To aid in addressing these issues a new form of participatory research, called embedded research, is proposed and examined within the framework of the case studies and knowledge framework with a call for future research into its possibilities.

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ID Code: 29405
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HCI, participatory design, embedded research, knowledge boundaries
ISBN: 9781605588544
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Ubiquitous Computing (080504)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 the authors and CHISIG.
Copyright Statement: Additional copies are available at the ACM Digital Library
( or ordered from the CHISIG secretary (
Deposited On: 22 Dec 2009 02:41
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:15

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