Posted on Tuesday April 18th 2017 at 09:17

Please find below the call for participation for the Participatory Design Conference in 2018, co-organised by Social Spaces, LUCA School of Arts.


The 16th biennial Participatory Design Conference (PDC)

Hasselt & Genk, Belgium, 20 – 24 August 2018


“Participatory Design, Democracy and Politics”

The Participatory Design Conference (PDC) is a conference with a long history in bringing together scholars who present research on the direct involvement of people in design, development, implementation, and appropriation activities of information and communication technologies, spaces, artefacts, and services. PDC brings together a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers and practitioners encompassing a wide range of issues that emerge around participatory design, encountered and discussed in multiple fields. These include, but are not limited to, HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), CSCW (Computer Supported Cooperative Work), co-design, design research, CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning), ICT4D (Information and Communication Technology for Development), development studies, design anthropology, sociology, media studies, architecture and spatial planning, and arts.

In 2018, the Participatory Design Conference will be held in Belgium, in a year that is characterised by municipal elections in the region. Not only on a local level are things in motion; we are facing several challenges on a global level too: growing economic and social inequalities, growing migration rates, and a rise of xenophobia, right-wing upsurge and securitarian policies. PDC 2018’s theme, ‘Participatory Design, Politics and Democracy’, questions both the role of participatory design practitioners in the PD processes themselves and in the changing political landscape.

Please see the full call:

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* Full papers: 10 November 2017, 23:59 CET.

* First notification to full papers authors: 12 January 2018, 23:59 CET.

* Full-paper revised submission, Short papers, workshops, tutorials, doctoral colloquium and situated actions submission: 9 February 2018, 23:59 CET.

* Second and final notification of acceptance: 27 March 2018, 23:59 CET.

* Camera ready versions: 18 May 2018, 23:59 CET.


See below for the submission instructions.



PDC 2018 invites submissions in the following categories (to be published in the ACM International Conference Proceeding Series):

* FULL PAPERS: (maximum 10 pages, excl. references). Full papers should report on substantial and original, unpublished research that advances Participatory Design (PD). As a single-track conference and the only research conference exclusively dedicated to PD, PDC full research papers have a broad impact on the development of PD theory, approaches and practices. Full papers will be published in the ACM International Conference series. Each submitted paper will be double-blind reviewed by at least 3 reviewers and may be subject to a “revise and resubmit” process if deemed suitable. Where papers rank equally, we will accept papers that broadly address the theme of the conference in preference to others. Please make sure your submission is correctly anonymised. Each paper should be thoroughly proofread, polished and formatted according to submission instructions before submission.

* SHORT PAPERS: (maximum 4 pages, excl. references). Short papers should present original, unpublished ideas and research that explores or advances the field of Participatory Design (PD) or reflect on its potential future developments. As these will be presented and discussed in thematic sessions run in parallel, short papers can benefit from making one, clear contribution. Authors are encouraged to present a focused reflection or a meaningful empirical case study. A focused reflection will be expected to explore or advance existing ideas/concepts or propose new ones at a theoretical level, even coming from nearby disciplines to build an interdisciplinary dialogue. A case study will be expected to present applications of PD that are empirically fascinating even without strong theoretical grounding. Each submitted short paper will be double-blind reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. Short papers will also be published in the ACM International Conference series. Please make sure your submission is correctly anonymised. Each paper should be thoroughly proofread, polished and formatted according to submission instructions before submission.

* INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS: (maximum 3 pages, excl. references). Workshop proposals should describe half-day or full-day sessions on topics that include reflections, methods, practices, and other areas of interest related to Participatory Design (PD). They should support an interactive format wherein active participation is possible and clearly goes beyond a presentation format. These formats could include problem definition, small discussion groups, mapping themes, etc. It should justify the need for the workshop and should contain the workshop’s title, its goals, the planned format, methods or techniques used to structure the workshop, the way participants should contribute to the workshop, its relevance to PD, and a draft schedule. This description should also include how the workshop topic links to the conference theme and how the organisers have the relevant expertise to set up this workshop. The duration of the workshop (half day or full day), envisioned participants, minimum and maximum number of participants and how they will be recruited should also be described. In the recruitment procedure, important dates should be clearly communicated to the participants. Finally, the workshop proposal should include a clear statement about the expected concrete outcomes of the workshop (e.g. journal publication, research proposal, exhibition). In the evaluation of the proposals the following will be the main evaluation criteria: relevance of topic to conference; interactivity of format; potential to draw participants. The workshop location holds several workspaces for wood cutting, 3D printing, electronic tinkering, laser cutting, etc. If, in your workshop setup, you foresee to use any of these facilities, please contact the workshop chairs before submitting your proposal.

* TUTORIALS: (maximum 3 pages, excl. references). 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, its relevance to PD, intended participants and a schedule for the tutorial. We are looking particularly for tutorials with relevance to the conference theme, and the local/societal context of PDC 2018. Please describe in the proposal any handouts or materials that you intend to make available to participants. In the evaluation of the proposals the following will be the main evaluation criteria: relevance of topic to conference; knowledge and skills transfer; potential to draw participants.

* DOCTORAL COLLOQUIUM: (maximum 4 page proposal, excl. references). The doctoral colloquium 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 DC co-chairs, along with a core group of senior participatory design researchers, and other student participants. Enrollment 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 range of students with different disciplinary emphases, at different stages of their research programs, and coming from different cultural backgrounds. The proposal should give an overview of the PhD project, including research motivations and questions, intended contributions, methods, status of current work, major findings and plans for further research. Accepted applicants will be asked to do some pre-conference preparation, including reading each other’s submissions and articulate common themes, among others. More directions will be provided.

* SITUATED ACTIONS: (maximum 2 pages text with 2 pages optional images or plans; or 5 minutes audio/video). Extending the conference theme of PD and politics, we are retooling the former interactive exhibitions format to one that incorporates public space in the city of Hasselt, imbricating the conference with the urban community. Situated actions may encompass PD-inspired exhibitions, performances, interventions, workshops, public debates, or other highly interactive engagements. They can be public representations of research, or new participatory encounters designed for Hasselt citizens, conference attendees, or a mixture of both. Projects will be presented on the first evening of the conference in lightning 5 minute introductions to all conference attendees, who will later be able to register for two different 30-minute situated action sessions during the following days of the conference. Proposals should include a description (2 pages) of the situated action, including any plans or images (2 pages), its relation to PD, and specific requirements for realisation of the situated action. Alternatively, audio or video files describing the project may be submitted. Each submitted project, case, demo, and/or design/art work will be peer reviewed for applicability to the PD community, and (once accepted) undergo a process of curation into the situated action format. Those submissions that address or explore the conference theme will be favoured in the selection process. The conference will introduce the project leaders of accepted projects to local contacts who can help to understand Hasselt’s past, present, and the impending political moment; provide suggestions for possible venues; and assist with pre-conference logistics. Additionally, a longer-duration exhibition space is available for “traces” of the Actions or parallel installations. This exhibition space, the Hasselt Beguinage, is the historic site of a 750 year old intentional community and will serve as an alternative venue during the main conference.

* THE ARTFUL INTEGRATORS’ AWARD: We welcome nominations for the seventh Artful Integrators’ Award, to be presented at PDC 2018. The Award is intended to recognise outstanding achievement in the area of participatory design. Where traditional design awards have gone to individual designers and/or singular objects, the Artful Integrator’s Award emphasises 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.

* PD PRACTITIONERS OUTSIDE ACADEMIA (INDUSTRY TRACK): In this edition of PDC we aim to strengthen dialogue and learning around new research, methods, and innovative practices of participation by supporting practitioners that are active in commercial, government, and not-for-profit organisations to submit their work to any of the PDC submission categories, instead of to a special track. Practitioners interested in this support should send an expression of interest (1 page max no later than 1st of september 2017 via email to: so they can receive feedback from a team of Industry Chairs that will provide guidance on: contribution, right submission category for the potential manuscript and possible options for coaching or co-authoring support.

We look forward to you joining us in Genk & Hasselt (Belgium) in 2018!

Liesbeth Huybrechts & Maurizio Teli
PDC 2018 chairs


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