I embarked on a PhD in Design suspended in 2017 which due to ill health was not completed. As part of a continuation of the work undertaken I have started this blog to continue the journey. Bringing together my own experience of participation, in trade unions, ngo’s and drug and alcohol recovery, researching design has opened up a wide variety of intellectual and practical pathways.
These pathways, ways of thinking about our everyday design abilities (and our implication in everyday design), about authorship and authority, about the relationships between making our way and how ways make us and about our struggle with participation, join with others who challenge narrow conceptions of design. This blog seeks to explore these pathways by bringing design and participation into a wide-ranging conversation about how we want to live and how we can reshape our lives. How can an wider appreciation of design inform our understanding of participation and agency, and how can a wider appreciation of active and intellectually engaged participation inform design?
I want to explore some of the research and writing around participation, co-production and design (and much more), including work by Bruno Latour, Tom Ingold, Ray Ison, Roberto Unger, David Gauntlett and Richard Sennett. However, I also want to draw on my own personal experience (and interrogate the notion of experience), to explore this most basic, but also the most complex, of our resources.
This journey continues to be an exciting and challenging and I hope to communicate something of this excitement as I write in the coming weeks and months. I invite you to join me on this journey.