Navigating Matters of Concern in Participatory Design

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review


In Denmark, it is estimated, that among 75-90% of residents in Danish nursing homes are diagnosed with dementia which is an umbrella term for diseases that causes elderly people to be unable to express certain needs, wishes, and inconveniences. Often this disability to express themselves is reflected in restlessness, frustrations and anger, which provides challenges for relatives as well as professionals at nursing homes. This article explore how a team of five 3rd semester bachelor’s design students sought to improve quality of life for elderly people with dementia in a nursing home through a co-design process of a new sensory stimulation technology. Participatory Design researchers agree that it is important from a democratic point of view to involve diverse actors in the design process such as elderly with dementia, nursing home management, nursing staff etc. But when involving many different actors in designing new products, services and systems the challenge is to navigate the many perspectives and concerns of these actors, which is often conflicting and hence needs negotiating. In this article, we draw upon the ANT framework to analyse how ‘matters of concern’ (MoCs) are negotiated and to discuss how designers navigate by staging and facilitating design interactions to support negotiation of MoCs among numerous actors during the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventPDC 2018: Participatory Design Conference 2018 - Hesselt & Genk, Belgium
Duration: 20 Aug 201824 Aug 2018


ConferencePDC 2018: Participatory Design Conference 2018
CityHesselt & Genk
Internet address

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