Developing the relational dimension of participatory design through creativity-based methods
Caoimhe Isha Beaulé, Solen Roth, Anne Marchand and Karine Awashish
Based on insights from a decade-long partnership between designers from the Université de Montréal and Indigenous community members of the Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Nation in Canada, this chapter discusses the importance of the relational dimension of community-based participatory design projects. The authors argue that creativity-based methods at the intersection of art, design and craft can nurture ethical collaborative dynamics and challenge the kind of top-down hierarchies that tend to characterise university–community relationships. Although not commonly explicit in design processes, these creativity-based activities can significantly strengthen a project’s relational dimensions which are crucial to collaboratively developing the project’s frameworks, inventorying collective resources and contributing to decolonising participatory design processes. However, the extent to which relationships are truly ‘decolonised’ by way of being strengthened and integrating Indigenous world views remains to be seen.
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