[X]Changing Perspectives

The design-research project “Embodied Design for Participatory Spaces” focuses on collaborations between municipalities and citizens around public issues. We designed [X]Changing Perspectives ([X]CP): an interactive system for multi-stakeholder discussions with 6 to 120 participants. [X]CP is an interactive system consisting of 15 tables with integrated visual tracking technology, 6 interactive tokens per table with icons, equipped with a Neopixel LED ring, a capacitive sensor and an AR marker, and one online real-time visualisation that shows all token touches, movements and their traces.


Inspired by the work of Hummels and Van Dijk [Seven principles for Embodied Sensemaking, 2015], the focus of the design was on providing scaffolds and traces for embodied sensemaking, by enriching conversations with tangible input (scaffolds) and visible outcome (traces) of the conversations. The design was intended to bring out different perspectives and enrich deliberative conversation with embodied and social cognition and, in doing so, establish Participatory Sensemaking- in multi-stakeholder settings.

[X]CP was designed to be used in multi-stakeholders settings, e.g. in participatory decision-making sessions, such as shown in figure 2, and was tested in 12 real-life cases with 30 to 120 participants. It is part of a PSS that includes the invitation, data analysis and evaluation process before and after the [X]CP session.

Background

In Western Europe, the complexity created by globalisation and technological developments is increasingly being recognized in people’s daily lives. The aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008 has left Western Europe with decentralisation, budget cuts and retracting welfare states (e.g. Big Society in the UK). Today’s public issues bring different stakeholders together to rise to these challenges by local multi-disciplinary collaborations (e.g. in deliberative democracy). However, the conflicting stakes, different backgrounds and shifting roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders in public issues ask for new ways of collaborating and interacting in those multi-stakeholder settings.

In our research we aim to design for Participatory Sensemaking in interactions between multi-stakeholders around public issues. To this end, we designed [X]Changing Perspectives ([X]CP): an interactive system consisting of tangible markers on round tables and a visual representation for multi-stakeholder discussions with 6 to 110 participants.

Participatory Sensemaking

The main research question of the PhD project is: ‘by what aspects of Product Service System (PSS) [X]Changing Perspectives can we achieve Participatory Sensemaking in Multi-Stakeholder Dynamics around Public Issues?’. The term ‘PSS’ refers to the development of a service to implement the design intervention in context. The term ‘Participatory Sensemaking’ refers to our theoretical view on what kind of interactions we aim to trigger. The term ‘public issues’ carries in it the tension between System and Lifeworld and ‘multi-stakeholder dynamics’ refers to the context of participation wherein diverse or even conflicting expertise, experience and perspectives play a role.

The most important sub-question is: “How can Participatory Sensemaking be operationalised so that it can be observed, measured and attributed to PSS aspects?” This is the focus for ongoing work. We adopt a Research through Design approach. Through several hands-on explorations and iterations ‘in the wild’ (with pressing public issues and real stakeholders) we reflect on the role of designed artefacts and service elements in generating Participatory Sensemaking.

Partners

Necker van Naem, and the Municipality of Eindhoven (Gemeente Eindhoven).

Funding

This project is funded by the Municipality of Eindhoven (Gemeente Eindhoven).

Related publications

Philemonne Jaasma, Evert Wolters, Joep Frens, Ambra Trotto, Caroline Hummels. 2017. [X]Changing Perspectives: an interactive system for participatory sensemaking. In Proceedings of the 2017 conference on Designing interactive systems (DIS '17). 

Philemonne Jaasma, Evert Wolters, Joep Frens, Caroline Hummels. 2017. [X]Changing Perspectives: enriching multi-stakeholder deliberation with embodiment in participatory society. CeDEM17 Proceedings of the International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government 2017 Krems, Austria.

Philemonne Jaasma and Evert Wolters. 2017. [X]Changing Perspectives: Designing a Product Service System for Participatory Sensemaking in Multi- Stakeholder Dynamics around Public Issues. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 711-715.

Jaasma, P., & Wolters, E. (2015). Embodied Co-Design for Sharing Governance in Society. CeDEM15 Proceedings of the International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government 2015  (pp. 425-428) Krems, Austria.