The positioning cards: on affect, public design, and the common

Maurizio Teli*, Antonella De Angeli, Maria Menéndez-Blanco

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a design tool, the positioning cards that we have developed, validated, and used in different projects. These cards are built to allow CI4CG and Participatory Design researchers to discuss the political alignment of design projects, in iterative processes of design involving people in the definition of the technological features to be implemented. The background of the cards is the conceptualization of contemporary participatory design as public design, engaging with societally relevant phenomena outside the traditional environment of the workplace. To engage with such an extended dimension of participatory design, we frame our contribution in the contemporary form of capitalism, stressing how contemporary capitalism dispossess the wealth created by social production. In this context, we argue, CI4CG designers need to engage deeply with the theoretical implications of their work. To support this effort, we built the cards combining a political perspective oriented toward nourishing the common—the ensemble of the material and symbolic elements tieing together human beings—with the “affect turn” in the social sciences—therefore including affective dimensions like joy, sadness, and desire in the design of CI4CG technologies. In the final part of the article we discuss how we have used the cards in four different projects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAI and Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • Affect
  • Cards
  • Collective intelligence
  • Common
  • Participatory design
  • Public design

Cite this