Teaching participatory design using live projects: critical reflections and lessons learnt

  • Jörn Christiansson
  • Erik Grönvall
  • Signe Louise Yndigegn


There are few examples of academic work that describe Participatory Design (PD) and Co-design instruction. This paper presents experiences from four years of teaching a university course on Co-design and PD to an average of 57 students per year. A main part of our pedagogical approach is the implementation of Donald Sch?n's concept of a reflective practicum, via a mandatory 'live' project that runs for the whole semester. We discuss the potential and challenges of teaching PD and Co-design to large classes using live projects, including how to give students first-hand experience of the whole PD process, how to coach students in collecting and using field data, and what expectations of a Co-design process and its participants are realistic. The paper also examines how PD-related challenges affect teaching PD as an academic subject.

Full text at ACM

SESSION: Learning and education