What is participatory design?
Participatory design (PD) is an approach where all stakeholders are involved in the design process.
Traditional design projects typically include the paying client and professionals within similar and related industries; in participatory design, members of the wider community — from the users who are directly affected by the design, to the local business owners who may be peripheral to it — are also recognised as legitimate stakeholders with the ability to impact the project.
The extent of their involvement can range from being passively informed of a project’s development, to actively sharing roles and responsibilities in decision making. While there may be times when informing is a necessary part of the process, we believe that real impact is often made when we intentionally build up a person’s capacity to contribute at higher levels.