Participatory Design

Tim Brown argues the need for designers to re-engage with design thinking by tackling larger issues and social systems rather than re-inventing the toaster.

In some respects he is asking us to turn the process of design on its head, showing examples where the problems and innvovations are identified and developed by the users themselves. This is an approach which seeks to make the users the designer, and whereby the designer can take themself out of the process.

Really interesting is the quote from Sir William Beverage who created  Britain’s Welfare State, and who conceeded that rather than creating a PARTICIPATORY welfare system, he had created a CONSUMER welfare system.

To what extent are we designing systems and spaces where the only level of engagement is as a consumer, rather than a partcipant?

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