Proceedings of the 12th Participatory Design Conference vol:2 issue:12 edition:1 pages:29-32
Participatory Design Conference edition:12 location:Roskilde date:12-16 August 2012
In this paper we reflect on MAP-it: a participatory mapping method and toolkit, containing a map, sticker sheets, a scenario, etc. It enables designers to moderate participatory design processes through workshops in which people from different backgrounds collaboratively reflect on and set up new projects. In several test mappings during our research, we observed that participants in participatory contexts were often too eager to please the group. Furthermore, especially 'makers' -- being designers, engineers, etc. -- had difficulties with releasing control over the participatory process, thus allowing the process to evolve in unexpected ways. This led us to conclude that MAP-it should encourage participants to take risks in the participatory process. Our research identified three types of risk-taking in participatory design processes, which we integrated in MAP-it. First, MAP-it allows people to express their differences in opinions. Therefore it is deliberately created as a hybrid form, borrowing elements from various disciplines, methods and media. Second, it permits making friction between participants explicit by using 'risk-stickers' and game rules. Finally, its open characteristics force the designer and participants to give up a part of their control over the design process.