Conversations is a new category in PDC2020, these sessions aim to foster passionate discussion about emerging concerns, future themes and alternative viewpoints around  pressing issues for the PD community. The sesions are a maximum of one hour and a half and should involve participants in more than lisetning.

Chairs: Christopher Frauenberger (TU Wien, Vienna – AUT), Yoko Akama (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology – AUS), Pablo Calderón Salazar (Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano – COL)

C1 – A Carrier Bag Theory of More than Listening

Pérez-Bustos, Tania; Suchman, Lucy; Chocontá Piraquive, Alexandra

Keywords: Carrier bag, Listening, Participation, Witnessing.

Inspired by an essay by Ursula K. Le Guin, in this Conversation we invite thinking about those artifacts that hold together collaboration and participation in design from an anthropological perspective. We take as a starting point for the Conversation our experience as anthropologists in a participatory design project in which a digitally-enhanced carrier bag was designed and used to connect communities through the sharing of stories, through effortful listening, and through the fostering of relationalities, all of which nourished different forms of engagement and careful witnessing in the comprehension of conflict and reconciliation in Colombia. In the proposed format of the Conversation we ask participants to engage in listening to stories of the carrier bag, and responding with their own stories of effortful listening related to their design practices. The Conversation aims to become a carrier bag that holds together stories of more-than-listening as integral to participatory design practices.

C2 – Generating a Participatory Design Pluri-Glossary. Generando Un Pluri-Glosario Para Diseño Participativo

Mata-Marin, Silvia; Bosch Gómez, Sofía; Ortega Pallanez, Marysol; Juri, Silvana

Keywords: Pluriverse, cultural interlocution, cultural practice, design languages, glossary

Participatory methods involving observation, interpretation, and collaboration require a shared language to operate and be performed. However, the absence of a design-based language beyond the Anglo-Eurocentric understanding of design renders problematic, particularly in the field of social design. This issue requires attention when working with communities claiming their space in the margins, because this implies engagement in bounding processes to preserve cultural and identity practices. The challenges presented to designers require preserving the nuances and pluralities of languages —and thus lifeworlds— if they are to become truly inclusive and allow the coexistence of many worlds. It is imperative to adopt context-based design languages that emerge from the communities in which designers are working with. To contribute to the development of a real plurality and cultural interlocution –as opposed to translation, we propose a participatory and generative conversation space that will seek to co-construct and propose a potential design pluri-glossary.

C3 – Racialized Design: Developing a vocabulary for a shared intention in design

Moses, Terresa; Mercer, Lisa E

Keywords: Race, social impact, social issues, ethics, epistemic knowledge, racism, racialized design, pedagogy, diversity.

Participants will analyze different forms of racialized design through conversations focused on the ethics of knowing a shared vocabulary and identifying racialized design on an international stage. The ability to identify and discuss the overgeneralization of historically powerless communities is imperative to guide the social shift in participatory design. Through the use of community agreements and a sharing of vocabulary, this conversation will allow participants to 1) speak to their own social experiences with racialized design, or 2) convey knowledge and validation of said experiences. A shared vocabulary enables collaborative partners, from various disciplines, to work together, challenge Eurocentric normative standards, and work together to deter the overgeneralization of marginalized communities.

C4 – The Politics of Nature. Designing for an Ontological Turn (DESIS Philosophy Talk 7#03)

Tassinari, Virginia; Manzini, Ezio; Escobar, Arturo; Huybrechts, Liesbeth; De Rosa, Annalinda

Keywords: Non-anthropocentric design, politics of nature, political ontology, ontological design, radical interdependence

Today’s environmental emergency requires specific efforts in terms of thinking/acting in designing. The consequences of anthropocentric ways of producing, consuming and living are becoming painfully clear. Design plays a role in this and has contributed to feed this anthropocentric mindset, considering human interests separated from the planet’s ones. Design has a shared responsibility in this “de-futuring process” and it is hence obliged to recognize the risks connected to this mindset. In this regard, designers are increasingly becoming aware that an ontological shift is needed. What does it mean to take this “ontological turn” seriously? Which thinking in contemporary philosophy and anthropology can help designers – particularly the ones dealing with subfields of design such as PD and Design for Social Innovation – to develop non-anthropocentric, non-de-futuring reflective practices that might account for the radical interrelationship people/planet? Which kinds of transformative reflective practices might these modes of thinking possibly nurture?