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Title: The quality of design participation : intersubjectivity in design practice
Authors: Ho, KLD 
Lee, YC
Keywords: Design
User participation
Design exclusion
Social inclusion
Issue Date: Apr-2012
Publisher: Chinese Institute of Design
Source: International journal of design, Apr. 2012, v. 6, no. 1, p. 71-83 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of design 
Abstract: As a team composed of a design researcher and a sociologist, we initiated the Design.Lives Lab, to examine how user involvement actually works and what elements of the design process would bring forth positive and negative impacts on both design practice and user engagement. In this paper we argue that it is methodologically necessary to practice design participation because of the specific nature of design, which is characterised by “wicked problems” and the necessity of employing abductive logic. After reflecting on our findings from the labs for Hong Kong youngsters, we also suggest the concept of intersubjectivity, which is a threefold model of I-It, It-Thou and I-Thou. The I-It relation can be used as an indicator of the existence of an instrumental relationship and the deterioration of the quality of human interaction, whereas the It-Thou relation is an indicator of the formation of an empathic act, which would certainly help open communicative space. The I-Thou relationship engages each member in an entity as a whole and helps accomplish equal dialogues. We propose this threefold typology of intersubjectivity as a conceptual guide for designers to know how to build up communicative space in which equal dialogues are possible and can extend the impact of design participation on social development.
ISSN: 1991-3761
EISSN: 1994-036X
Rights: © 2012 Ho and Lee. Copyright for this article is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the International Journal of Design. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. By virtue of their appearance in this open-access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.
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