Approaching Participatory Design in "Citizen Science"

Macintyre, Ronald (2016). Approaching Participatory Design in "Citizen Science". In: Design for Learning: 5th International Conference designing new learning ecologies, 18-20 May 2016, Copenhagen.



This paper explores the use of participatory design methods in engaging older people in Citizen Science. Based on a pilot in a small Scottish town it looks at the application of designerly practices to bringing lay knowledge into professional practices around biological recording. Charting our journey, our initial focus on enabling people to collect biological data, with a focus on participatory methods and design thinking, and its evolution into work about what collecting biological participants enabled for participants. It captures reflections on well-being, mobility, changing environments and communities, and a growing confidence in themselves as experts in their own lives. The paper closes with some personal reflections on what we learnt as facilitators about the use of participatory methods. In particular the role of our own (and participants) tacit assumptions in framing approaches, and the need to open and flexible, to frame and reframe as process and outcomes shift.

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