Meet Aare Puussaar, a Research Software Engineer in SAgE Technical Services who uses participatory design to understand citizen engagement in smart cities
With its roots in Action Research, participatory design is characterised by a commitment to involving non-designers in the design process through a range of activities and consultation. Historically, this commitment was born from the desire to democratise design techniques, improve user-interaction and solve real-world problems. Developing an iterative approach is central to participatory design principles and this approach is now actively employed in a range of fields and design contexts such as Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), architecture, education, heritage studies, healthcare and the humanities. To enable user-involvement, participatory design often draws on other research methods such as ethnography, interviews and focus groups to inform the participatory approach and ensure that participants’ views are considered. More information on Newcastle University’s HCI and design centre, OpenLab, can be found here.