Methodologically materialising hate: Incorporating participatory design methods within qualitative research on crime and victimisation

Cally Gatehouse, James Pickles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of ‘design’ within qualitative research on crime and victimisation, and within the social disciplines more generally, has seen very little commentary or discussion. ‘Design’ is referred to throughout as the professional and scholarly practice rather than the ‘research design’, that is, the practical plan for the methods used to generate data. Design in this former sense has historically drawn on both arts and engineering to give form to garments, products and visual communication. This article presents a case study, followed by a reflective discussion, of a research project in which research through design methods were used to construct two focus groups involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people and police liaison officers as part of a hate crime project. Participants were asked to design reporting devices that would respond to hateful behaviour. Through the design process, participants materialised their own experiences of hate and embodied emotional responses to those experiences. The authors argue that there are methodological, ideological and practical benefits for incorporating research through design methods within qualitative research on crime and victimisation. Design offers a way of critically and creatively reimagining how research methods are understood and utilised, challenging how criminological methodologies traditionally operate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMethodological Innovations Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

Funding Information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research was funded by an AHRC grant.


  • Hate crime
  • participatory design
  • young people
  • sexuality
  • youth work
  • research through design


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