The Design of Pseudo-Participation
Author(s)Palacin, Victoria; Nelimarkka, Matti; Reynolds-Cuéllar, Pedro; Becker, Christoph
MetadataShow full item record
Participation is key to building an equitable, realistic and democratic future. Yet a lack of agency in decision making and agenda-setting is a growing phenomenon in the design of digital public services. We call this pseudo-participation by and in design. The configuration of digital artifacts and/or processes can provide an illusion of participation but lack supportive processes and affordances to allow meaningful participation to happen. This exploratory paper examines the realm of pseudo-participation in the design of public digital services through two concepts: 1) pseudo-participation by design, digital interfaces, and tools that provide the illusion of participation to the people, 2) pseudo-participation in design, processes in which those affected by the design decisions are marginalized and not given any agency. We contribute to the re-imagination of participatory design in modern societies where the role of politics has become ubiquitous and is yet to be critically scrutinized by designers.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Civic Media
Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference 2020
Association for Computing Machinery
Palacin, Victoria, et al. "The Design of Pseudo-Participation." Participatory Design Conference, June 2020. Association for Computing Machinery, June 2020.
Author’s final manuscript
digital services, technocratic clientelism, pseudo-participation by design, pseudo-participation in design, user configuration