Engaging Design: Empowering Beyond ‘Participation’ For Active Engagement

Nicholas Gant, Robert Phillips

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Design’s approach to complexity; often employs tactics aimed at engaging the public, provoking awareness, seeking transitional behaviour(s) and provoking changes in culture. Engaging Design (ED) initiates active involvement (as a new paradigm for embedding provocative design propositions) within communities and society. ED is an empowering practice (traversing beyond participation) energising communities, providing agency and facilitating; ‘self-authored’ and ‘community authored’ responsible change.
    Distributed tools, capabilities and access to knowledge has transformed ‘authorship’ to be socially, environmentally and contextually led. ED examples respond to environmental concerns; presenting opportunities to achieve sustainable and responsible goals. The work focuses on ‘authorship and responsibility’ as material and engagement ‘mis-use’ remains unregulated. This presents design’s responsibility toward embodying sustainable behaviour in all its means.
    We analyse two case study research projects that foster independence, authorship, as a means to engender engagement; 1) My Naturewatch, engages DIY technologies to create digital trail cameras, empowering people to create and author ‘accessible nature’, through ‘homecooked’ environment exploration. 2) Grangemead, is a facilitated, community-led response, enabling participants to design their own garden within a local-authority carehome. Authors unpick design practice examples, presenting Engaging Design methods for; impactful, responsible, co-authored, sustainable and resilient design interactions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020
    EventArt of Research Conference 2020: Authorship and Responsibility - Aalto University , Helsinki , Finland
    Duration: 10 Dec 202012 Dec 2020


    ConferenceArt of Research Conference 2020
    Internet address


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