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[liberationtech] Participatory Design Conference PDC'14 - First call for papers

Doug Schuler douglas at
Tue Apr 9 09:54:34 PDT 2013

Call for Papers: 

The 13th biennial Participatory Design Conference (PDC) in Windhoek, Namibia.

6. – 10. October 2014

Join us in Windhoek, Namibia in 2014 to celebrate the 13th Participatory Design Conference (PDC). The conference theme of the PDC 2014 is “Reflecting connectedness”. We are currently experiencing a technologically pushed trend in ‘being always connected’. This is manifested in a number of designed artifacts, such as smart-phones, social networks, computer supported cooperative work and distributed working tools. By ‘reflecting connectedness’ in PD, we acknowledge influential relations across continents, societies, people, disciplines and time, beyond the direct involvement of stakeholders. While PD has evolved as a discipline on its own, we should continuously reflect on interrelations of theories and practices within and across the field and thereby enriching PD within a wider context. We must further engage in critical debates of what it means to design within and for a multilayered network, such as the on-line world versus off-line interactions, the blurring distinction of designers and users, researchers and artists, design and research ‘in the wild’, designing for social justice, inclusiveness, and sustainability. We invite authors to deliberate on these relations within and beyond the field of PD, which affect its conceptualization and practices all over.

The 2014 PDC seeks to attract submissions from different disciplines, academics, practitioners and artists in form of tutorials, workshops, doctorial consortiums, participatory art encounters, papers, and industry cases.

Important dates:

Conference dates: 6. – 10. October 2014
Research Papers due: 15. January 2014
Short Papers due: 31. January 2014
Interactive workshops due: 1. March 2014
Tutorials due: 1. March 2014
Industry Cases due: 1. March 2014
Participatory Art Installations due: 1. March 2014
Doctorial Consortium due: 1. March 2014
Nomination to the Artful Integrators Award due: 1. March 2014
Notification to authors: 1. May 2014

PDC’14 invites submissions in the following categories:

Research papers: (full papers - maximum 10 pages). Research papers should report on original research which advances Participatory Design (PD) and reflect on state of the art themes in our field. As a single track conference, and the only one exclusively dedicated to PD, PDC Research papers have a broad impact on the development of PD theory, approaches and practices. Research papers will be published in the ACM International Conference series. Each submitted paper will be double blind reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. Each submission will be managed by a meta-reviewer to ensure that feedback is relevant, the learning experience significant and the process fair. Please make sure your submission is correctly anonymized. Accepted papers should be revised according to the review reports and the language should be checked by a native English speaker.

Short papers: (short papers – maximum 4 pages). Short papers should present original, unpublished ideas and research that advances the field of Participatory Design (PD) and reflect on its potential future developments. As discussed in parallel, thematic sessions, PDC Short Papers can benefit from a clear scope and are expected to contribute to the emergence of new possibilities for PD. Compared to Research Papers, Short Papers may offer a more limited discussion of related work, or they may, for example, provide a novel design, method or theoretical concepts, without a full evaluation or with less detailed explanation. Short Papers are reviewed to the same standard of scientific quality as Research Papers, but the contribution is more focused and clear-cut. Each submitted short paper will be double blind reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. Please make sure submissions are anonymous. Accepted papers should be revised according to the review reports and the language should be checked by a native English speaker.

Interactive Workshops:(maximum 2 pages) The workshop proposal should describe half day or full day sessions on topics that include methods, practices, and other areas of interest related to Participatory Design (PD). They should support an interactive format wherein active participation is possible, beyond a presentation format. These formats could include a mapping of a problem definition, small discussion groups, etc. The proposal must be written in a format that can be used for recruitment via the web. It should justify the need for the workshop and should contain a title, goals, format, method or technique, its relevance to PD and a schedule. Intended participants and how they will be recruited should also be described. In the recruitment procedure important dates should be clearly communicated to the participants (see timing). Also, it should be clear to the organizers and the participants what the maximum amount of participants is for the workshop and what the workshop duration is (half day or full day). Finally, the workshop proposal should include a clear statement about the expected outcomes of the workshop (e.g. journal publication, research proposal, exhibition, etc.).

Tutorials: (2 page proposal) Half day and full day sessions for teaching conceptual frameworks, methods/techniques, and novel approaches in Participatory Design (PD). The proposal should contain a title, goals, method or technique, relevance to PD and a schedule. Please describe in the proposal any handouts that you intend to make available.

Industry Cases:(2-4 page case description) should report on the use of participatory methods, tools, and/or practices within commercial, non-profit, or governmental organizations. We are interested in a broad range of submissions that explore what a participatory approach means to different practitioners and audiences and may include ideas, approaches, projects, experimentations or reflections on participation. We encourage submissions from practitioners who might not ordinarily attend the Participatory Design (PD) conference but who are grappling with the complexities of participation or who are experimenting with novel approaches. Cases should highlight the benefits, challenges, and outcomes from the application of participatory approaches and should provide concrete lessons for others who are interested in applying PD in their organizations. Each submitted case will be peer reviewed for applicability to the PD community.

Doctoral consortium: (4 page proposal) The doctoral consortium is a full-day session intended for PhD students working within the field of Participatory Design (PD). It will provide students with an opportunity to discuss issues of concern to them in their studies and receive extensive feedback from the session co-chairs and other student participants. Enrolment is limited and selection will be based on the quality of application submissions, taking into account how the research is related to PD. The aim will be to include a spread of students with different disciplinary emphases, at different stages of study, and coming from different cultural backgrounds. The proposal should give an overview of the PhD project, including research motivations, questions, methods, status of current work, major findings and plans for further research. Accepted applicants will be asked to provide a revised and elaborated research summary (4 pages), and to participate in some pre-workshop on-line discussions.

Art installations: (2 page proposal) Interdisciplinary collaborations have often yielded surprising yet astonishing results, leading both research and knowledge to new heights. PDC has a long history of incorporating participatory art installations to inspire and innovate. Artists and designers working with any form of interactive participatory methods are invited to submit their projects. The works can take inspiration from visual and digital media, performance arts, installations, communication technologies, touch, sound and any other genres that allow participants to take part or become part of the art piece. Projects should address/explore the theme ‘reflecting connectedness’. Please submit a 2 page proposal of the art work, in which the project is described (incl. sketch/design), the relation to PD, and specific requirements for display. Alternatively artists can submit audio or video files describing the project.

The Artful Integrators’ Award: We welcome nominations for the sixth Artful Integrators’ Award, to be presented at PDC 14 in Namibia. The Award is intended to recognize outstanding achievement in the area of participatory design of information and communications technologies. Where traditional design awards have gone to individual designers and/or singular objects, the Artful Integrator’s Award emphasizes the importance of collaborative participation in design, and a view of good design as the effective alignment of diverse collections of people, practices and artefacts.

Submission and formatting guidelines

The submissions in all categories are subject to double-blind peer review. For previous PDC conferences, the acceptance rate for research papers has been about 25% and for the other submission categories about 50%. All submissions should follow the PDC paper template to be found on the conference website (

The PDC 2014 proceedings will be published as part of the International Conference Proceedings Series published by ACM and available online from the ACM Digital Library. Accepted research papers will comprise Volume I of the Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference. Volume II of the proceedings will comprise the accepted papers in the other submission categories. Authors of accepted papers will need to complete the ACM copyright form as a condition of inclusion in the proceedings. Only PDF files (.pdf) may be submitted and submissions are only accepted through the PDC conference management system.

Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Vincenzo D'Andrea & Ole Sejer Iversen PDC’14 chairs.

Douglas Schuler
douglas at

Public Sphere Project

Liberating Voices!  A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution (project)

Liberating Voices!  A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution (book)

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