Abstract

This paper addresses the role of critical theories to knowledge-making and world- making practices in design research. We discuss the agential and performative power of feminist technoscience sensibilities in shaping a European participatory design project – called Commonfare – which aims to confront the risk of social exclusion as a result of precariousness, low income, unemployment, which is increasingly affecting the European population. More specifically, we explore the entanglement of critical approaches and material practices shaping aspects of the project through three empirical examples – related to the formation of the project consortium, the methodological approach adopted by partners, and the organisation of information as part of the design process – that attend to feminist concerns in technoscience and design in that they come to terms with issues of positionality, embodiment, situated knowledges, relationality and materiality. We conclude by arguing that cultivating the inseparability between knowledge-making and world-making practices is a promising and primary concern for any design research committed to fostering alternative futures.

Keywords:

participatory design; feminist technoscience; critical theories; Europe

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Fostering Commonfare. Entanglements Between Participatory Design and Feminism

This paper addresses the role of critical theories to knowledge-making and world- making practices in design research. We discuss the agential and performative power of feminist technoscience sensibilities in shaping a European participatory design project – called Commonfare – which aims to confront the risk of social exclusion as a result of precariousness, low income, unemployment, which is increasingly affecting the European population. More specifically, we explore the entanglement of critical approaches and material practices shaping aspects of the project through three empirical examples – related to the formation of the project consortium, the methodological approach adopted by partners, and the organisation of information as part of the design process – that attend to feminist concerns in technoscience and design in that they come to terms with issues of positionality, embodiment, situated knowledges, relationality and materiality. We conclude by arguing that cultivating the inseparability between knowledge-making and world-making practices is a promising and primary concern for any design research committed to fostering alternative futures.

 

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