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Types, obstacles and sources of empowerment in co-design: the role of shared material objects and processes

Zamenopoulos, Theodore; Lam, Busayawan; Alexiou, Katerina; Kelemen, Mihaela; de Sousa, Sophia; Moffat, Sue and Phillips, Martin (2019). Types, obstacles and sources of empowerment in co-design: the role of shared material objects and processes. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts (Early Access).

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Co-design is intrinsically linked to the notion of empowerment, however little research has focussed specifically on understanding the types, obstacles and sources of empowerment in co-design. This paper combines theoretical investigations with observations derived from co-designed research by academic and non-academic partners to explore these issues, in particular, the role of shared material objects and processes in supporting empowerment during co-design. The paper uses the notions of ‘power over,’ ‘power to’, ‘power with’ and ‘power within’ to tease out different aspects of empowerment, and draws on empirical observations to determine different obstacles and sources associated with each. The study therefore makes a theoretical contribution to the understanding of co-design as an empowerment process and should be useful for design researchers undertaking co-design projects with non-experts.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Authors
ISSN: 1571-0882
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Connected Communities & Design Highlight: Empowering Design Practices: historic places of worship as catalysts for connecting communitiesAH/M001709/1AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council
Scaling up co-design research and practice: building community-academic capacity and extending reach (XD-12-111-TZ)AH/K006711/1AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council)
Unearth Hidden Assets through Community Co-design and Co-production (XD-12-112-TZ)AH/K006541/1AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council)
Keywords: co-design; research co-design; boundary objects; empowerment
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Design and Innovation
Item ID: 59969
Depositing User: Theodore Zamenopoulos
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2019 08:22
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 23:21
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