it took reading the first part of ‘Participation’ for me to understand Andrew Blauvelt’s ‘Toward Relational Design’, but i’m now able to see that it’s all talking about participatory design. Blauvelt talks about the current phase of design that we’re in, which is essentially participatory design. the ability to source content and then transform it is becoming increasingly important and necessary in the design field. users want to be a part of the design process and outcome, and as designers, we have to be flexible and value users as a part of the process and end-product.
going back to the introduction of ‘Participate’, what Lupton said about designers having to prepare for a ‘lifetime of education and reeducation’ really struck a chord with me: that’s part of the reason i chose to push my life in this direction, a love of constantly learning. it’s both awesome and challenging to be constantly on the cusp of all these new technologies and ways of working, we’re constantly changing our work processes and expanding our toolkits. whether that makes what we do easier or more efficient isn’t the point, it’s that we’re responsible in part for paving the way for all those that want a hand in design, despite not being ‘designers’.
something else that stuck with me from the intro was the idea that participatory design builds communities. i love the idea of building and growing a community out of a design idea, creating new discourse and relationships.
this stuff is all pretty heady, enough so that i had to read everything twice, but i’m really warming up to the idea of participatory design and am excited to explore its possibilities.