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Participatory design fieldwork. Dealing with emotions


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This is a presentation used in Cumulus Hong Kong 2016 open design for e-very-thing.

Published in: Design
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Participatory design fieldwork. Dealing with emotions

  1. 1. Participatory Design Fieldwork: Dealing with Emotions Mariana Salgado Michail Galanakis Esa Pursiainen SUO&CO Independent researchers & practitioners 21.11.2016 Cumulus, Hong Kong
  2. 2. Emotional investment while engaging with vulnerable people – as many immigrants are – in design fieldwork should be an element of analysis. Processes with emotional impact influence fieldwork.
  3. 3. An emotion is a strong feeling coming from certain circumstances, moods or relationships with others and which is intuitive.
  4. 4. How to deal with emotions in participatory design research?
  5. 5. Case Study 1
  6. 6. MIGRATION STORIES FROM EAST HELSINKI: OUR CITY A series of workshops and other events in which different immigrant communities were explicitly invited to take part in the design process.
  7. 7. Participants in the workshop: 15 women who knew each other well. Food! an integral part of the workshop’s planning and realization.
  8. 8. Using props (cards) made the life stories of our participants easier to narrate/express/write/ visualize.
  9. 9. “In my home country, I had to escape from the police. In Finland, you are not free even though you are not in prison. When I came here I got a new life and I smiled at everyone. But Finnish people keep their distance and so I do not feel free. Real freedom for me is in Kurdistan. Freedom is in the mind and in the feelings.” ”I do not think myself in Meri-Rastila, in the future I will go back to Kurdistan, I am counting the days.”
  10. 10. The identification of the need for services in the area such as appropriate language courses for mothers and recreational spaces in which immigrants could get to know Finnish people. In the Alternative Master Plan which was the main design product of the OURcity project, our findings were translated into a larger communal space for immigrants and Finns to gather, as well as a number of public spaces planned to be used by the diverse community in the area
  11. 11. Engagement Emotions Reciprocity 2
  12. 12. Strong emotions were triggered due to several factors: the visualisations, the relationships amongst participants, the overall atmosphere, the open-ended nature of the questions, and the content of the discussion, namely migration stories.
  13. 13. It is ethically questionable to incite memories of painful events. As design researchers we have multiple roles: confidants, translators, facilitators, and investigators. In these roles we oscillated within a wide range of emotions varying from sadness when our participants got sad, to joyful when our participants were happy. We felt empathy and we were also quite conscious of our roles and research questions, and tried to keep our emotions at bay.
  14. 14. Emotions, even when they are controversial, are unavoidable. Light and Akama (2012) argue that participatory methods cannot be seen in isolation from the people engaged in them. They are “[m]ethods and techniques [that] require embodiment”. This embodiment could be painful in research situations in which traumatic events are discussed. Light, A., & Akama, Y. (2012). The Human Touch: Participatory practice and the role of facilitation in designing with communities. Proc. Participatory Design Conference, Roskilde,Denmark, p. 61-70.
  15. 15. When emotions run high 3
  16. 16. Time and space for reflection Defusing
  17. 17. Debriefing and defusing
  18. 18. Relational expertise
  19. 19. Conclusions 3
  20. 20. Spent some more time talking with us or personnel trained for debriefing, immediately after the workshop Picture in Flickr by Stephen published under CC license.
  21. 21. Reserve time to make a debriefing session with our colleagues just after the session Picture in Flickr by Stephen published under CC license.
  22. 22. Be empathic with participants’ emotions but also know how not to aggravate their emotions Picture in Flickr by Stephen published under CC license.
  23. 23. Offer our mediation in order for our participants to get help from, for instance, community workers and trauma specialists, in dealing with certain very distressing events in their lives. Picture in Flickr by Stephen published under CC license.
  24. 24. When our research falls into the category of designing with the Other, recognizing design as a social practice requires dealing with emotions.
  25. 25. References [1] Clarke, R., & Wright, P. (2012). Evocative of Experience: Crafting cross-cultural digital narratives through stories and portraits. NordCHI’12, Copenhagen, Denmark. [2] Björgvinsson, E., Ehn, P., & Hillgren, P-A. (2012). Agonistic participatory design: working with marginalized movements. Co-Design: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts. 8: 2-3, p.127-144. [3] Keshavarz, M., & Mazé, R. (2013) 'Design and Dissensus: Framing and Staging Participation in Design Research', Design Philosophy Papers, 1: unpaginated. [4] Manzini, E. (2015). Design, When Everybody Design. An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation. Rachel Coad (Trans.). MIT Press: Cambridge MA, London. [5] Salgado, M. and Galanakis, M. (2014). “So What?” Limitations of Participatory Design on Decision-making in Urban Planning. PDC '14: Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Industry Cases, Workshop Descriptions, Doctoral Consortium papers, and Keynote abstracts, 2, 5-8. doi>10.1145/2662155.2662177 [6] Lammers, E. (2005). Refugees, asylum seekers and anthropologists: the taboo on giving. Global Migration Perspectives. Global Commission on International Migration. Switzerland. [7] Norman, D. A. (2008). Emotional Design. Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things? Basic Books, New York. [8] Oatley, K. & Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2011). Basic Emotions in Social Relationships, Reasoning and Psychological Illnesses. Emotion Review, 3: 4, p.424-433. [9] van Dugteren, J. R. (2014). The dynamics of Empathy within Participatory Design Pedagogy and Practice. Master thesis. University of Cape Town. [10] Izard, C. E. (2010). The Many Meanings/Aspects of Emotion: Definitions, Functions, Activation, and Regulation. Emotion Review, 2: 4, p.363–370. [11] Concise Oxford Dictionary. (2001). Tenth Edition. Judy Pearsall (Ed.). Suffolk, UK: Oxford University Press. [12] Meidän-Ourcity. (2012). [Accessed 07 April, 2016] plan/
  26. 26. [13] Denborough, D. (2008). Collective narrative practice: Responding to individuals, groups and communities who have experienced trauma. Adelaide, Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications. [14] Leikkilä, J., Faehnle, M. and Galanakis, M. (2013). Urban Nature and Social Diversity Promoting Interculturalism in Helsinki by Planning Urban Nature, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 12(2), 183-190. [15] McDonald, S. (2003). Answering questions and asking more: reflections on feminist participatory research. Resources for Feminist Research, 30 (1/2): p.77-100. [16] Light, A., & Akama, Y. (2012). The Human Touch: Participatory practice and the role of facilitation in designing with communities. Proc. Participatory Design Conference, Roskilde, Denmark, p. 61-70. [17] Dyregrov, A. (1997). The Process in Psychological Debriefings. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10: 4, p.589–605. [18] Magyar, J. & Theane, T. (2010). Debriefing critical incidents in the emergency department. Emergency Medicine Australia, 22:6, p. 499–506. [19] Dindler, C., & Iversen, O.S. (2014). Relational Expertise in Participatory Design. Proc. Participatory Design Conference, Windhoek, Namibia, p. 41-50. [20] Hynes, T. (2003). The issue of “trust” and “mistrust” in research with refugees: choices, caveats and considerations for researchers. New issues on refugee research. The UN refugee agency, UK. Retrieved from [21] Crossley, L. (2003). Building Emotions in Design. The Design Journal, 6:3, p.35-45. [22] Galanakis, M. and Oikarinen-Jabai, H. (2007). Embodied Diversity: Let Me Show You My Shadow. International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations , 5(7), 63-68. [23] Brand, E., Binder, T., & Sanders, E.B.-N. (2013). Tools and techniques. Ways to engage telling, making and enacting. Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design. Simonsen, J. and Robertson, T. (eds). Routledge, New York, USA. [24] Kalantidou, E., & Fry, T. (2014). Design in the Borderlines. Routledge. UK. [25] Cipolla, C., & Bartholo, R. (2014). A Dialogical Approach to Socially Responsible Design. International Journal of Design, 8(2), 87-100.
  27. 27. Thank you! Pictures in this presentation are part of the two projects presented here.
  28. 28. Twitter: @salgado Blog: Slideshare: