Skip to content

Participatory design

  1. Design pedagogy, the body, and solidarity in designing commons

    Design pedagogy, the body, and solidarity in designing commons

    Podcast interview for the Commoning Design & Designing Commons show, an initiative from the Interest Group Commons and Commoning of the IT University of Copenhagen. Listen to the podcast on Anchor. Transcript Speaker Key – GP Giacomo Poderi; FA Frederick van Amstel; SM Sanna-Maria Marttila; JS Joanna Saad-Sulonen Speaker Text GP Okay, welcome to this first […] - Apr 12, 2022
  2. Storyblocks


    Storyblocks is the tridimensional equivalent of the storyboard: it represents the basic elements of a scene sequence in a film or animation movie through building blocks. After building the scene and materializing its components, the framing and camera movements can be experimented with using still photos or improvised videos. It is a fast low-fidelity technique […] - Mar 26, 2022
  3. Shared Management Handbook

    Shared Management Handbook

    Shared Management Handbook is the final work of Luciane Hulyk to obtain her Graphic Design degree at UTFPR. The book was collaboratively written and participatory designed with the Mandala Network, a collective of local artisans who wanted to share their experience with self-management and solidarity economy. The book reads like a manual for those who […] - Jan 8, 2022
  4. The role of games in developing transformative agency

    The role of games in developing transformative agency

    Van Amstel, Frederick M.C. (2021). The role of games in developing transformative agency. Brazilian Journal of Socio-Historical-Cultural Research and Activity, 3(2). - Dec 31, 2021
  5. Designing relations in Prospective Design

    Designing relations in Prospective Design

    Prospective design is a new design approach developed at Federal University of Technology Paraná inspired by Carnegie Mellon University’s Transition Design approach. This short talk explains two of the differences between the approaches: 1) instead of focusing on alternative futures, Prospective Design focuses on alternative presents; 2) instead of framing situations as systems, it frames […] - Nov 12, 2021
  6. Investigar-crear para la liberación

    Investigar-crear para la liberación

    Esta charla és una reflexión acerca de mi condición existencial de investigador del diseño en un país subdesarrollado que no prioriza la ciencia para su desarrollo. En la condición de subdesarrollo, el investigador debe identificarse con la gente y con la gente crear proyectos de investigación libertadores. Así, se puede detener a los problemas locales […] - Oct 28, 2021
  7. Radical Alterity in Experience Design

    Radical Alterity in Experience Design

    In Experience Design, we typically learn to design experiences for others, the users. While drawing this distinction between us and them, we block the potential to change who we are by designing for ourselves. Radical alterity means including the Other as part of the Self. It is a concept crafted on decolonial Brazilian anthropophagic tradition, […] - Jun 22, 2021
  8. Designing for Liberation

    Designing for Liberation

    As institutions or individuals, design bodies have been weaponized for war, colonization, racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of oppression. This talk reports on the Designing for Liberation research program that, since 2010, engages diverse design bodies with the fight against all forms of oppression. This program unleashes designing potentials that have been prevented or […] - Apr 8, 2021
  9. Commoning Design: a Pluriversal Slide-Deck

    Commoning Design: a Pluriversal Slide-Deck

    The Commoning Design pluriversal slide-deck is the outcome of a collaborative effort which involved people with different interests, skills, and backgrounds united by their shared curiosity around the relationship between commoning and design. Such effort took place in the context of the Participatory Design Conference 2020 and organized around the workshop “Commoning Design and Designing Commons”. This deck […] - Dec 8, 2020
  10. Commoning design and designing commons

    Commoning design and designing commons

    Botero, A., Marttila, S., Poderi, G., Saad-Sulonen, J., Seravalli, A., Teli, M., & van Amstel, F.M.C. (2020, June). Commoning Design and Designing Commons. In Proceedings of the 16th Participatory Design Conference 2020-Participation (s) Otherwise-Volume 2 (pp. 178-180). DOI: - Jun 24, 2020
  11. Matters of Care in Designing a Feminist Coalition

    Matters of Care in Designing a Feminist Coalition

    Eleutério, Rafaella P. and Van Amstel, Frederick M.C. Matters of Care in Designing a Feminist Coalition. (2020). In: Proceedings of the 16th Participatory Design Conference. Manizales, Colombia. DOI: - Jun 13, 2020
  12. Value Voting

    Value Voting

    This method uses the marvelous PIRC’s Values Deck to visualize the priorities of a group, project, or organization. The method is rather simple: gathering together the people involved to vote on the human values they want to collective produce. Each card represents a human value, such as sustainability, creativity, wealth, and so on. They are […] - Jun 10, 2020
  13. Anthropophagy traces in a cultural commons platform

    Anthropophagy traces in a cultural commons platform

    Van Amstel, Frederick. (2020) Anthropophagy traces in a cultural commons platform. Commoning Design and Designing Commons Workshop (position paper), Participatory Design Conference, Manizales. - May 18, 2020
  14. Lego Physical Oxymoron (LEPOX)

    Lego Physical Oxymoron (LEPOX)

    LEPOX challenges the participants to collaboratively identify and materialize a contradiction using Lego pieces. This game is inspired by the LEGO Serious Play ® method, which relies upon physical metaphors for improving team communication. The participants are invited to make a model of what they perceive to be a contradiction in terms — a physical […] - Apr 6, 2020
  15. Stake Holder Analysis with Lovely Links (SHALL)

    Stake Holder Analysis with Lovely Links (SHALL)

    SHALL is short for Stake Holder Analysis with Lovely Links. It consists of mapping all the stakeholders possibly interested in a problem through their organization and inter-organizational relationships. Each stakeholder is mapped as a doll and relationships are loosely represented as a thread connecting the dolls. The game starts by asking the participants to map […] - Apr 6, 2020
  16. Designing Metaobjects for Collaboration, Participation and Debate

    Designing Metaobjects for Collaboration, Participation and Debate

    This research theoretically develops and empirically tests the concept of metaobject in design projects with special needs for collaboration, participation, or debate. Metaobjects are objects that represent and support the design of new objects in metadesign processes, such as a sketch, a model, or a prototype. In design projects, metaobjects must represent multiple perspectives and […] - Mar 25, 2020
  17. Participatory Design in Transition Projects from the Global South

    Participatory Design in Transition Projects from the Global South

    Multiple versions of Participatory Design emerged in different contexts and disciplines. Despite taking advantage of knowledge generated by the Global South, such as Participatory Action Research, Participatory Design is mainly practiced based on Northern theories, such as critical theory, post-structuralism, and phenomenology. Despite their contributions to building a democratic approach to design, these theories did […] - Mar 25, 2020
  18. Women Coffee Worker Coalition

    Women Coffee Worker Coalition

    Women Coffee Worker Coalition is the final work of Rafaella Peres Eleuterio to obtain her Bachelor degree in Design at UTFPR. Rafaella had some relatives who worked on the coffee fields of Northern Paraná but she never engaged directly with this production. After seeing the coffee packages which sold their produce in the city, she […] - Oct 9, 2019
  19. Pattern-based codesign

    Pattern-based codesign

    Card decks systematize patterns of common problems and solutions in a certain design space. These decks are useful for novice codesigners who don’t know what is possible in that space. Card decks can be combined to support interdisciplinary design. With a deck on business models, another on graphic user interface, and a third on human […] - Nov 22, 2018
  20. Tangible Experience Model

    Tangible Experience Model

    The Experience Map is an abstract representation which might not be understood by stakeholders who are responsible for shaping that experience. Since their participation is essential to stage the experience, I developed a Tangible Experience Model with uses Lego pieces to represent the relationships between people, things, spaces, and activities. Since the model’s meaning relies […] - Nov 4, 2018
  21. Representing contradictions without trying to solve them

    Representing contradictions without trying to solve them

    Design-oriented ethnography seeks to find opportunities for innovation in social activities. Disturbances, tensions, and conflicts are sometimes used to ground or justify these opportunities, as if they could be avoided by an innovation. Ethnographers know that social contradictions cannot be resolved by design since they depend on collective endeavors; however, they still need to provide […] - Nov 20, 2015
  22. What is expansive design?

    What is expansive design?

    Expansive design is a concept initially defined by psychologist Yrjö Engeström which I developed further in my PhD thesis. It means expanding the design activity towards the use activity, or in other words, connecting them together. This connection is characterized by co-creation; instead of merely producing objects for users, designers co-create objects with the users. […] - Nov 20, 2015
  23. Dialoga app and Social Participation Living Lab (2015)

    Dialoga app and Social Participation Living Lab (2015)

    Brazil former president Dilma Rousseff wanted to improve the participation of society in the decisions of the federal government and ordered the creation of a Social Participation Secretary at the beginning of 2015. By that time I just returned to Brazil after my four years as a PhD student in the Netherlands. Ms. Rousseff officers asked my help […] - Aug 13, 2015
  24. Guanabana thing at the DesignLab

    Guanabana thing at the DesignLab

    As part of the Collaborative Future Making master class, a group of students (Thijs Baltes, Alex Ceha, Riccardo Rigo and Isabel Pfab) designed a thing to intervene with the incipient DesignLab at the University of Twente. The group mapped the contradiction that was pressing the DesignLab development at its early stage: the lack of a […] - Apr 21, 2015
  25. Collaborative Future Making

    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 […] - Jan 19, 2015
  26. How to represent contradictions

    How to represent contradictions

    Contradictions are social tensions that accumulate in the history of a society. When they reach the peak, conflicts come to the surface and society has to take action to change what is feeding the contradiction. In simple words, it is necessary to attack the root of the problem. There are design approaches that try to […] - Jan 5, 2015
  27. High speed train social impact study

    High speed train social impact study

    This study conducted by Architecture Sans Frontières UK aimed to highlight the social impact to be caused by the high speed train connection to Birmingham, HS2. The connection will cost around 50 billion Pounds and will transform part of London in a big construction site. To accomodate the expansion of the Euston Station, 3 to 6 […] - Sep 25, 2014
  28. Expanding the representation of user activities

    Expanding the representation of user activities

    Van Amstel, F. M.C., Zerjav, V., Hartmann, T., van der Voort, M. C., & Dewulf, G. P. (2015). Expanding the representation of user activities. Building Research & Information, 43(2), 1-16. DOI: - Jul 15, 2014
  29. Participation and transdisciplinarity

    Participation and transdisciplinarity

    Participation is an issue that crosses the boundaries of a single discipline. Its fundamental assumption is that people can make better decisions together than led by a single discipline. To approach participation in the renovation of healthcare facilities, it is important to consider disciplines concerned with the built environment – Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC), […] - May 15, 2014
  30. Using smartboards to enable user participation in architecture

    Last week, I demoed my Walking Paths application at 3TU Innovation & Technology conference using a Smartboard that allows touch and pen interaction. To explain how it enables user participation in architecture, I presented a model of the building where the conference was held and asked visitors to draw the path they took across the […] - Dec 9, 2013
  31. Natuurhus Almelo Nature Center (2013)

    Natuurhus Almelo Nature Center (2013)

    Different nature-related associations join forces to build a nature center in the middle of a small city in The Netherlands. My role in the project was to interview the stakeholders and provide a map of controversies around the project requirements. After mapping controversies, I helped them to organize a workshop where these controversies would be […] - Nov 13, 2013
  32. Social participation vocabulary (2012)

    Social participation vocabulary (2012)

    This was one of the projects that emerged in Corais Living Lab: a vocabulary to classify and share data across electronic public participation applications and websites. I did not organize the project but joined as a host in Corais. I really liked this project since it lays the foundation for a more democratic society in […] - Nov 24, 2012
  33. Medical Imaging Center (2011-2013)

    Medical Imaging Center (2011-2013)

    The intervention had the goal of assisting practitioners to bridge the gap between the design activity and user activity in a Medical Imaging Center project, in the Netherlands. The center would have state of the art diagnosing machines based on techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET-MRI), Computed Tomography (CT), and […] - Jun 14, 2012
  34. When Participatory Design makes sense

    When Participatory Design makes sense

    In the course of writing my PhD proposal to the disciplinary council of my faculty, I had to define which kind of project could be appropriate for doing  Participatory Design research. Not every project can be participatory or profit from being participatory. There are specific situations where Participatory Design makes sense, but I couldn’t find […] - Jun 4, 2012
  35. Spreading participation into the routine

    Spreading participation into the routine

    Participatory Design usually happens in ritualized gathering where participants enact their political positions and build things together. The workshop creates an ephemeral horizontal power structure where people from the lowest level can work with medium an top level of the hierarchy. From what I observe so far in the Healthcare Construction Industry, where I conduct […] - Mar 1, 2012
  36. Public participation can revitalize decaying places

    Public participation can revitalize decaying places

    I’m currently on vacation in Brazil enjoying the time to think on how will I contribute to Brazilian society when I’ll be back from my PhD on Participatory Design in Netherlands. One thing that I often hear is that participation can only work in advanced democracies. It wouldn’t work in Brazil because people wouldn’t make […] - Jan 23, 2012
  37. Enabling participation in healthcare construction

    Enabling participation in healthcare construction

    After conducting initial observations on two healthcare projects ­— a new medical image center and a hospital reallocation, I identified three shortcomings for Participatory Design in healthcare construction: lack of proper tools to collaborate over design models with non-design experts economic and political costs for scheduling meetings over reliance on consensus to move design process […] - Dec 2, 2011
  38. UFPR University Website (2010)

    UFPR University Website (2010)

    The website of a major public university, with hundreds of pages and departments competing for a pixel at the homepage. It took 3 years to redesign it from the ground up. The University had to assemble a team to develop and manage it internally. My role was to train and guide this team to achieve […] - Sep 11, 2010
  39. From Interfaces to Interactions: Participatory Design of the Portal

    Abstract The complexity of communication processes mediated by technology has attracted the attention of several areas. In a pragmatic perspective, Interaction Design strives for designing these medias for a particular community, however this process occurs within a political scenario of cultural conflicts. The option of participatory design advocates the individual´s autonomy to develop social uses […] - Jul 7, 2010