Balancing Power Relations in Participatory Design: The Importance of Initiative and External Factors


Art der Publikation: Conference Paper

Veröffentlicht auf / in: CHI EA '23: Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Jahr: 2023

Veröffentlichungsort: New York

Verlag (Publisher): ACM


ISBN: 978-1-4503-9422-2


Torben Volkmann

Markus Dresel

Nicole Jochems


Power imbalances between users and designers impede the intent to equal contributions in a participatory process. Recent years have shown that unforeseen external factors pose a risk of exacerbating this power imbalance by limiting in-person meetings and communication in general. This study evaluated a projects’ power relations using a three-part reflection-on-action approach. Results show, that external factors can act as an actor in the power relationship model and that the change of initiative can change the power relations. Thus, we propose a power relation triangle for Participatory Design processes, including participants, designers and external conditions as actors and the decision-making at the center based on the combination of the actor’s relations. This framework can help to better understand and address power imbalances in Participatory Design.


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