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Collaborative Future Making


Prof. Pelle Ehn from Malmö University gave a Masterclass (45 hours) at the University of Twente about the latest advances in his research group from the 2nd of February to the 17th of April of 2015, as part of the initial activities of the UT DesignLab. This course was based on a book called Making Futures. Frederick assisted Prof. Ehn and delivered two lectures on representing social contradictions.

This “master class” was an introduction to the participatory design tradition. The main focus is on inquiries into contemporary societal and theoretical challenges, especially issues concerning innovation, design and democracy. As a background the genealogy of participatory design will be outlined.

The following themes were introduced:

  • introduction: making futures – innovation, design and democracy
  • the genealogy of the participatory design tradition
  • “design things” and “democratic design experiments”
  • social innovation and governance from below
  • opening production and making commons
  • collaborative cultural production
  • publics and democratic space

The course was conducted through lectures and seminars. In addition participants engaged in a “democratic design experiment” around a societal challenge or matter of concern. Their engagement with this concern they brought to a collaborative assembly, a “design thing”, where their “democratic design experiment” was collaboratively explored with the other participants.

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