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Participatory construction of futures for the defense of human rights

Paula Astrid Mendez Gonzalez, Sofía Castañeda Mosquera, María Paula Bernal Tinjaca, Ricardo Mejía Sarmiento, Roberto Alejandro Morales Rubio, Juan Camilo Giraldo Manrique, and Santiago Baquero Lozano.

Participatory design allows for designing speculative futures through a collaborative approach. This paper explores how a human rights defense non-governmental organization and a group of designers could explore speculative futures collaboratively. It also reflects on how prototypes of these futures help the organization face potential changes in the country’s social model to make an impact on the defense of human rights during the next ten years. This case study presents how the use of participatory design and speculative design can allow NGOs to explore the futures, identify the opportunities and challenges they offer, and co-design a roadmap to act accordingly.

Keywords: Participatory design, speculative design, speculative prototypes, human rights defense.

Read the full paper here.

Cited (ACM) as: Paula Astrid Mendez Gonzalez, Sofía Castañeda Mosquera, María Paula Bernal Tinjaca, Ricardo Mejía Sarmiento, Roberto Alejandro Morales Rubio, Juan Camilo Giraldo Manrique, and Santiago Baquero Lozano. 2020. Participatory construction of futures for the defense of human rights. In Proceedings of the 16th Participatory Design Conference 2020- Participation(s) Otherwise – Vol. 2 (PDC ’20: Vol. 2), June 15–20, 2020, Manizales, Colombia. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 7 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3384772.3385155

Participatory Design Conference 2020: Participation(s) otherwise

Since Participatory Design’s (PD) emergence as a research community, PD scholars have asserted that design is a practical, social and political endeavour. Main commitments include: offering alternative technologies, rendering design processes democratic, open and accessible to wide participation, and amenable to critical scrutiny and mutual learning. By proposing the theme of Participation(s) otherwise, we want to invite the PD community to think further on the diverse meanings and ontologies that participation and design can take on. Let’s open up the understanding of “participation” beyond modernist narratives and theoretically “universal” cookie cutter solutions and account for diverse practices.

Read more about the journal PDC20VOL2-32 and here.

Javier Ricardo Mejia Sarmiento

Developing DIVE, a design-led futures technique for SMEs

Mejia Sarmiento, J. R., Pasman, G., Hultink, E. J., & Stappers, P. J.

Futures techniques have long been used in large enterprises as designerly means to explore the future and guide innovation. In the automotive industry, for instance, the development of concept cars is a technique which has repeatedly proven its value. However, while big companies have broadly embraced futures techniques, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have lagged behind in applying them, largely because they are too resource-intensive and poorly suited to the SMEs’ needs and idiosyncrasies. To address this issue, we developed DIVE: Design, Innovation, Vision, and Exploration, a design-led futures technique for SMEs. Its development began with an inquiry into concept cars in the automotive industry and concept products and services in other industries. We then combined the insights derived from these design practices with elements of the existing techniques of critical design and design fiction into the creation of DIVE’s preliminary first version, which was then applied and evaluated in two iterations with SMEs, resulting in DIVE’s alpha version. After both iterations in context, it seems that DIVE suits the SMEs because of its compact and inexpensive activities which emphasize making and storytelling. Although the results of these activities might be less flashy than concept cars, these simple prototypes and videos help SMEs internalize and share a clear image of a preferable future, commonly known as vision. Developing DIVE thus helped us explore how design can support SMEs in envisioning the future in the context of innovation.

Design of vision concepts to explore the future: Nature, context and design techniques

Mejia Sarmiento, J. R., Simonse, W. L., & Hultink, E. J.

Industrial firms are facing a constant dilemma, being ready for the future, have a vision, and at the same time act within the current situation, exploit current products efficiently. This research examines visions that embody future opportunities and ideas, “vision concepts” such as concept cars and concept kitchens. We studied five cases of vision concepts to unravel the nature of design techniques behind these vision concepts. Our findings present a comparison of similarities and differences in nature, organizational context, and design techniques. The key contribution of the study centers on a new understanding of how vision concepts explore the future though the embodiment of ideas and how designers share and lead the concept visioning process in the organizational context. We propose an initial framework for the design of vision concepts with significant implications for industrial firms.

How will people have a personal and conscious shopping experience in a traditional way in 2031?

Category : #FutureThroughDesign / PhD project · No Comments · by Apr 4th, 2017

The design of a vision concept to explore the future of Solutions Group

  • Problem owner: Solutions Group
  • Process owners: design students from Joint Master Project at the Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft: Julie Kuiperi, Bob Verheij, Iris ten Brink, and Mercedes Leipoldt; and design coach: Ricardo Mejia from the ID Studiolab, TUDelft.
  • Place & Date: The Netherlands and Colombia, 2016.

Vision concepts, a design-led futures technique, for SMEs

Category : #FutureThroughDesign / PhD project · (1) Comment · by Feb 22nd, 2017

Siga el link para ver un video explicativo en español – Another video (in Spanish) following this link.

Over the last few decades, design has gained a prominent strategic position. Organizations have started to look at design as a process, which adds value to the front end of innovation (Verganti, 2009). As a process, Deserti (2011) distinguishes between situational and visionary design. The latter, also known as design-led futures, is a form of design, interested in ideas and not just products (Dunne & Raby, 2011), which experiment on speculative futures (Auger, 2012) to stimulate radical innovation. Prototypical examples are concept cars, traditionally used to guide automakers through change.

Small and medium-sized enterprises have lagged behind in applying design (De Lille, 2014), especially in nontraditional forms, e.g. design-led futures, largely because there are no established methods to facilitate their implementation. We propose a tailor-made, design-led futures technique that assists designers through developing vision concepts for SMEs (Mejia Sarmiento, Pasman, Hultink, & Stappers, 2017), called DIVE. It builds on our inquiries on vision concepts in large corporations (Mejia Sarmiento, Hultink, Pasman, & Stappers, 2016).