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Design Seen from the Outside: An Ethnography of Institutional Participatory Design for the City-Making

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>The Design Journal
Issue number4
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)663-672
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/06/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


OVERVIEW: This article is situated in the intersection between anthropological and design knowledge, seeking to understand from an anthropological perspective the practice of participatory design (PD) in city-making projects. The research focuses on an urban redevelopment process in Sydney, critically analysing the cultural and socio-political frameworks where PD operates. In doing so, it highlights the challenges to the democratic ideals of participation while working inside democratic institutions. This study expects to support the need for a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the social, economic, cultural, and environment dimensions that shape the design practice in an increasingly complex world. Moreover, it builds on the acknowledgement that institutions are challenging arenas of work, but also potential sites for change. As a result, this report offers an exploratory framework to analyse participatory design projects from a cultural and political perspective. It suggests four exploratory areas: the social productions of neighbourhood; urban imaginaries; actors and governance; and everyday life authoritarianism.