PDC 2014 Welcome


Upon literally having embraced new territories of participation at the PDC 2012, with the decision to host the PDC 2014 on the African continent, for the first time in history, we will now engage with the theme of:


“Reflecting connectedness”


Although ‘Participatory Design’ as such has not been a prevalent term in Africa, ‘Participation’ however is a familiar concept in Africans’ every day activities and deeply anchored in the Southern African philosophy of UBUNTU, recognising principles of relationships between people.  Besides, societies all over the world have acknowledged profound links between people and their environment for many centuries. Moreover we are currently experiencing a technologically pushed trend in ‘being always connected’.  This is manifested in a number of designed artefacts, such as smart-phones, social networks, computer supported cooperative and distributed working tools.

By ‘reflecting connectedness’ in participatory design, we acknowledge influential relations across continents, societies, people, disciplines and time, beyond the direct involvement of stakeholders.  We recognise the value of accumulated experiences elsewhere and over time to enrich the field of Participatory Design.  We further engage in critical debates of what it means to design within and for a multilayered network, such as the on-line world versus off-line interactions, the blurring distinction of designers and users, researchers and artists, design and research ‘in the wild’, designing for social justice, inclusiveness, and sustainability.


The 2014 PDC will be a platform to connect ‘in person’ with designers, researchers, artists, practitioners and other related people, to engage in fruitful dialogues, to participate in numerous activities such as tutorials, workshops, doctorial consortiums, participatory art encounters, paper presentations as well as game viewing and exquisite dinning.

All in all you are looking forward to an unforgettable conference experience with many new insights and connections.


Heike, Vincenzo and Ole 



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