Ideation and ability: When actions speak louder than words

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


We present an approach and examples of design artefacts from on-going work on how children with profound disa-bilities can participate in formative design processes. It involves the pedagogical use of digitally interactive mul-tisensory environments. Rather than mimic participatory design from more symmetrical contexts, we address po-tentials in the situation at hand as well as the key issues of voice by proxy and thinking in deficits.
Our design artefacts draw on the rich heritage of tangible design experiments cherishing the generative qualities embodied in human actions. The inspiring actions of the children take centre stage in cross disciplinary design efforts by means of a) long term involvement, where b) designerly understandings of qualities emerge through ‘questioning’ by series of truly interactive yet deliberately basic tangible design artefacts, c) staging extensive video coverage of the children’s action as the pivotal point of ideation, and d) an open mind-set thinking in potentials and working by wonderings rather than fixed judgments.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Computer Interaction


  • Design experiment, tangibles, disability, children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM DL PDC '12 Proceedings of the 12th Participatory Design Conference: Exploratory Papers, Workshop Descriptions, Industry Cases
EditorsJesper Simonsen, Kim Halskov
Number of pages4
VolumeVolume 2
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-1296-7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Eventthe 12th biennial Participatory Design Conference PDC2012 - Roskilde, Denmark
Duration: 2012 Aug 12 → …

Publication series

VolumeVolume 2


Conferencethe 12th biennial Participatory Design Conference PDC2012
Period2012/08/12 → …