We introduce aesthetic inquiry as an important perspective to pursue in Participatory Design. Within the scope of tradition and transcendence we pursue aesthetic inquiry by tipping the scale towards transcendence and by staging offline loops for detached reflection by use of imaginative artefacts. Although aesthetic inquiry to some extent resides in most Participatory Design practice, we see the need for elaborating this perspective and to further build Participatory Design practice, tools and techniques that address this issue. The Fictional Inquiry technique is presented as an illustrating example of a design technique for pursuing aesthetic inquiry by using fictional narratives to temporarily by-pass the existing structures of meaning and expectations within a given practice. We illustrate how Fictional Inquiry was utilized in a participatory design project in which two design concepts for the Kattegat Marine Centre was developed.
Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference 2008, Bloomington In, Usa, 2008, p. 138-145