Abstract

Engaged practices of participatory design and socially-constructed models of learning recognise that understanding alternative perspectives can elicit deeper insights and contribute to a rich culture of openness and exchange for those involved. Participatory design attempts to empower passive participants to become active contributors in addressing societal challenges. Academia similarly values active contribution, recognising that engaging beyond the walls of the institution can provide students with real-world experiences. However, while participatory design draws upon the values of democratic engagement, ethics and empowerment, the educational perspective is still situated within Western, neoliberal ideologies, framed around enhancing career prospects and increasing earning potential. Design education exists at the intersection of both these paradigms. Through the engagement of external voices, design education can encourage creativity, promote criticality and challenge current thinking in provocative and subversive ways. The engagement of external stakeholders in such endeavour has the potential to support learning in a new way. This paper attempts to reposition participatory learning away from an institutional-centric model towards one that democratises and decolonises value for all involved. Through the development of a values model, the paper examines how participatory learning might enable the transformation of knowing that extends beyond the institution.

Keywords

Design; external engagement; learning; values.

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 4th, 12:00 AM

Exploring participatory learning beyond the Institution

Engaged practices of participatory design and socially-constructed models of learning recognise that understanding alternative perspectives can elicit deeper insights and contribute to a rich culture of openness and exchange for those involved. Participatory design attempts to empower passive participants to become active contributors in addressing societal challenges. Academia similarly values active contribution, recognising that engaging beyond the walls of the institution can provide students with real-world experiences. However, while participatory design draws upon the values of democratic engagement, ethics and empowerment, the educational perspective is still situated within Western, neoliberal ideologies, framed around enhancing career prospects and increasing earning potential. Design education exists at the intersection of both these paradigms. Through the engagement of external voices, design education can encourage creativity, promote criticality and challenge current thinking in provocative and subversive ways. The engagement of external stakeholders in such endeavour has the potential to support learning in a new way. This paper attempts to reposition participatory learning away from an institutional-centric model towards one that democratises and decolonises value for all involved. Through the development of a values model, the paper examines how participatory learning might enable the transformation of knowing that extends beyond the institution.

 

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