Welcome to PDC 2022

Embracing Cosmologies:
Expanding Worlds of Participatory Design

PDC 2022 will be a global, hybrid conference!

The Participatory Design Conference (PDC) is a leading venue for research on the direct involvement of people in the design, development, implementation and appropriation of technologies, artefacts and services. PDC brings together a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers and practitioners encompassing a wide range of issues that emerge around participatory design, encountered and discussed in multiple fields and disciplines.

2022 will see the 17th edition of the PDC conference, which is being “hosted” by Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom. However, with ongoing uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with a desire to make PDC more inclusive while reducing its carbon footprint, the 2022 conference will have a radically different format. While PDC 2022 will run a conference event in Newcastle upon Tyne between 30th August and 1st September 2022 (COVID-19 permitting), it will interface with a number of international PDC Places – smaller in-person events and activities ran in different locations around the world – with each Place shaped and organised by local participatory design researchers and practitioners. Asynchronous and synchronous online activities will occur before the week of the conference (15th August- 29th August) and after the conference (2nd September-16th September) to connect PDC participants across Places.

The theme for the 2022 conference is Embracing Cosmologies: Expanding Worlds of Participatory Design, building on the themes of the last editions of the conference that have drawn attention to the wider political, systemic and pluralistic qualities of participatory design research and practice. Democratic and socially just practices of design have always foregrounded people as agents of socio-political change. In more recent years a growing recognition of other forms of participation beyond the human have emerged. These include participation not only from technological entities, such as AI and algorithms, but also participation with biophysical, ecological, and spiritual worlds. How we design equitably with these prescient entities is increasingly of concern for many participatory designers and researchers seeking to have meaningful impact.

Through invoking a hopeful design of social justice that responds to multiplicity and relational interdependence, the conference will explore what it means to embrace cosmological approaches to participatory design. This means valuing different kinds of participatory alliances that span micro-organisms to eco-systems, micro-finance to global supply chains and circular economies, algorithmic data justice for individuals and distributed communities.

For more detail on the conference theme and information on how to submit contributions to PDC 2022, please see our call for participation.