The Art of Participatory Design
|PDC 2010 poses the challenge of participation; it asks us to consider how we conceptualise, critque and work with participation, and how we engage meaningfully with people, places and situations. The Art of Participatory Design is a programme of creative experiments that draws together art and design practice in order to shed fresh light on this challenge.
The programme includes: the Take Part workshop, a research discussion for artists and designers involved in participatory practices; X – an exhibition, by renowned polymath Natalie Jeremijenko (AU/USA); Remnant Emergency Artlab – a collaborative project led by Australian artist Keith Armstrong (QUT), which explores urban habitats for Australian wildlife and OWL – a series of participatory workshops in which participants imagine and build open and speculative body-devices, led by Kristina Andersen (NL) and Danielle Wilde (AU/JP).
The Art of Participatory Design is curated by PDC 2010 Art Chairs Lian Loke and Lizzie Muller and supported by the UTS Research Centres for Contemporary Design Practice and Human Centred Technology Design.
Take Part workshop
Convened by Lizzie Muller (AU) and Lian Loke (AU)
The Take Part workshop explores the philosophical, ethical, political and methodological crossovers between artists and designers working with participatory processes. It brings together artists and designers who have developed innovative methods for collaborating with audiences and end-users. The workshop aims to actively develop shared possibilities for collaborative research between these two communities of practice. It will be the basis of a special issue of the Co-Design: The International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts. Discussion will spring from the projects taking place within the Art of Participatory Design programme and the workshop offers an opportunity to meet and work with the artists and designers behind these projects.
Tuesday 30 November, 11am-4pm.
Natalie Jeremijenko (AU/USA)
New York-based Natalie Jeremijenko employs highly innovative uses of technology and science to re-imagine our relationship to the environment in a time of ecological crisis. X is a survey exhibition of projects and systems engineered to empower citizens to redress local environmental health issues through artistic and participatory strategies, lifestyle experiments, scripts for action and social change.
X Curatorium members: Tania Creighton, Lian Loke, Lizzie Muller, Holly Williams, Jacqueline Shilkoff.
Remnant/Emergency Artlab project
Led by Keith Armstrong (AU)
The‘Bat/Human Problem’ is the second of five ‘Labs’ within the two year Remnant/Emergency Artlab project – a team of creatives working with the broad aim of promoting environmental research and development projects that pursue “radical creative processes” that are “flexible to outcomes that cannot be predicted in advance”.
The Sydney ‘Lab’ is a participatory project that highlights a tragic clash between two urban dwelling species – the vulnerable Grey Headed Flying Foxes who inhabit the Sydney Botanical Gardens – and humans. Both species ultimately depend on each other for extensive ecological functions and secure habitat. Despite this co-dependence – early next year the bats, which roost in Sydney Botanical Gardens, will be forcibly removed.
What can we learn from this clash of two worlds? What might a heightened understanding of our unrecognised dependency teach us about the future of interspecies relationships? How can we better ‘think-in’ urban habitats for Australian wildlife? This Artlab project set out to address these central questions.
Outcomes from the project will be exhibited at the UTS Gallery, as part of the X exhibition. Remnant/Emergency launch Tuesday 30th November, 6-8pm, artist floortalk 5-6pm.
Sydney Lab dates: 18th – 30th November
The Remnant/Emergency Artlab has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body in collaboration with QUT Creative Industries, the UTS Research Centres for Contemporary Design Practices and Human-Centred Technology Design, the Participatory Design Conference (PDC 2010), the Australian Research Council, Artspace Sydney and many others.
The OWL project
Kristina Andersen (NL) and Danielle Wilde (AU/JP)
Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law of Technology Prediction reads: any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The OWL project is a series of open and speculative body-devices designed without a pre-defined function and tested as design probes in order to ascertain their functionality. The project fuses fine art and contemporary design processes to arrive at ambiguous outcomes whose functionality is being ascertained ‘after the fact’. This process emerges out of a desire to discover what might happen if we let people use their embodied experience and imagination to assist us in the creation of unknown technologies. Thinking in terms of scenarios of use makes it difficult to make radical conceptual leaps. The OWL workshop asks if Clarke’s rule holds an important key. Might magic and desire facilitate such leaps?
The goal of the OWL workshops and exhibition in Sydney is to open up the process itself to the participation and the scrutiny of others. Turning the gallery into a working space, the workshops invite the public to imagine and build their own devices, collaboratively imagining that which does not yet exist.
Interactivation Studio and DAB Lab research gallery, Level 4, 702 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney
Owl workshops Tuesday 23rd-Saturday 27th November (contact email@example.com to take part).