Call for Participation

Embracing Cosmologies:
Expanding Worlds of Participatory Design

UPDATE: We have extended the deadline for Workshops, Situated Actions and Exhibition and Doctoral Colloquium to 7th March

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.

We warmly invite contributions for Exploratory Papers reporting on original, unpublished research that advances Participatory Design (PD), as well as Workshops, Situated Actions and the Doctoral Colloquium. Note that the deadline for Full Papers has now passed.

Exploratory Papers are presented in multiple-track sessions at the conference. PDC Exploratory Papers benefit from making one, clear contribution, and authors are encouraged to present a focused reflection or a meaningful empirical case study. A focused reflection will be expected to explore or advance existing ideas/concepts or propose new ones at a theoretical level, even coming from nearby disciplines to build an interdisciplinary dialogue. A case study will be expected to present applications of PD that are empirically fascinating even without strong theoretical grounding. Exploratory Papers should be a maximum of 4000 words in length.

Please see the individual webpages for details on Workshops, Situated Actions and the Doctoral Colloquium.

We especially encourage submissions to all tracks that respond to the conference themes including:

Designing between (biophysical, spiritual, material and digital) worlds: How do we learn to listen differently and expand our perceptions of different worlds? How can we be attentive and respond to the invisible? How do we draw and blur boundaries around what is included and excluded in design if everything is so interrelated? How do we define what kinds of knowledge are worthy of exploration and what is not, and what are the problematics associated with this? Who and what can speak in and for design?

Sentipensar (feeling-thinking): How can we enact and represent design practice that is difficult to describe but is heartfelt and passionate? How can we practice careful design that values emotional intelligence and poetics in response to people, land and other species? How can we create opportunities for generative design practice that integrates emotions, rationality and forms of spirituality? How can we better attune to different forms of expression in a socially just way?

Relational commons: What is included and excluded from the commons and who gets to decide? How can we embrace and nurture local knowledges yet speak and connect across boundaries, cultures and nations and traditions? Does the relational commons look the same from anywhere? How do we work through the impacts of colonialism and recognise the significance of specific geography and territories on relational commons? How do we respect and attune to experiences of relational commons when we are working remotely or digitally?

Activating protest against injustice: What skills can participatory designers bring to acts of protest and civil disobedience? How do designers work through the moral and ethical complexities of social justice work in meaningful ways? How do we design to allow for healing and grief as quiet acts of solidarity and co-operation as protest? How can we find creative, artful and productive forms of participatory design and protest that challenge perceptions of activism? How can PD work improve understandings between and bring oppositely positioned groups closer together in contexts where right and wrong is in the eye of the beholder? How can we encourage multiple voices and qualities of protest to embrace different technical systems or species and forms of participation?

If you’d like to submit, please note the important dates below, and find more information about how to submit your papers here.

Important dates


18th January 2022 (1700-1830 UST) and 25th January 2022 (0800-0930 UST) – Online sessions on “Let’s explore submission ideas” and preparing submissions
7th 14th February 2022 – Submission deadline for Exploratopry Papers

23rd April 2022 – Final notification for all submissions (Accept or Reject)
30th May 2022 – Camera ready papers deadline for accepted submissions


18th January 2022 (1700-1830 UST) and 25th January 2022 (0800-0930 UST) – Online sessions on “Let’s explore submission ideas” and preparing submissions
28th February 7th March 2022 – Submission deadline (on Conftool)
23rd April 2022 – Notification to authors (Accept or Reject) and feedback
30th May 2022 – Camera ready papers deadline for accepted submissions

Note that all deadlines are for the end of the day Anywhere on Earth.