The traditional view on participation in participatory design of workplace technologies assumes a high degree of commitment by participants. In non-work settings, however, such a degree of commitment cannot necessarily be assumed. Similarly, the social organization differs from work to non-work. In work settings the role of peers is well defined, whereas in non-work settings participating peers are more elusive—like the familiar stranger at the parents’ evening at school. Furthermore, work practices are institutionalized and it is possible to enforce people to become aware of the participation activities of others. This is not the case in non-work settings with lower degrees of commitment and weaker ties to the ‘organization.’ Here, the means of awareness and engagement needs to be interwoven with people’s day-to-day idiosyncratic activities. We exemplify this tension with a recent case on citizen participation in a Danish national park and, furthermore, discuss the impact of commitment on how we design approaches to support participation.
participation; non-work settings; commitment; elusive peers; idiosyncratic behavior; everyday life
Main Research Area:
Workshop on Participation - basic concepts and research challenges at PDC 2012