Participatory Design Conference 2018
Hasselt and Genk
20 – 24 August 2018
The four-day conference in Hasselt and Genk in Belgium, focuses on “participatory design, democracy, and politics“, including interventions, workshops, and lectures by design researchers and practitioners.
The four-day conference in Hasselt and Genk in Belgium, focuses on “participatory design, democracy, and politics“, including interventions, workshops, and lectures by design researchers and practitioners. Political systems such as Belgium’s, for example, are based on the democratic participation of citizens and their elected representatives in government. If we compare design and politics, the question arises as to what extent design can be considered to be democratic and what the necessary processes and outcomes would look like. This is the approach taken by the “Participatory Design Conference 2018”, focusing on the role of architects and designers in a participatory process, in the face of changing political circumstances. One area of focus is projects that actively work with or involve various stakeholders, such as citizens, politicians or businesses. An international and multidisciplinary group of design researchers and practitioners with a range of participatory design specialisms in fields such as architecture, landscape design, design, art, co-design, sociology, media, and development research have been selected to contribute to the conference.
Visitors will get the opportunity to form their own opinion in workshops, lectures, exhibitions, presentations, colloquia or open discussions. A pre-conference with workshops, seminars, colloquia, and local interventions will be held from 20 to 21 August 2018. The main conference programme takes place between 22 and 24 August 2018, opening with a talk by Apolonija Šušteršič on the close relationship between democracy and participation under the title “Do You Have Time to Participate?” In her talk, participation refers to a form of democracy that arises out of individual desire and personal awareness as well as an awareness of society, the living environment, and the public arena. Focusing on design as a commercial tool as well as a creative process, she emphasises the difference between fast-paced and polarised capitalism and a process-oriented, diverse and collectively negotiated democracy. In her talk, Šušteršič aims to highlight the special features of democracy in an urban context, considering the themes of habitat, community, and mobility in order to take a critical look at economics while also proposing alternatives and solutions to the status quo of the market economy. Apolonija Šušteršič is a freelance architect and visual artist based in Norway and Slovenia as well as a professor of fine arts at the University of Art and Design Oslo.