Research Forum Participatory Innovation In a Danish Context


Where and when 
SDU Kolding
Universitetsparken 1
Gæstecaféen (61.01)
10 December
10.00 – 12.30

In this workshop we will explore differences and similarities in our research. We invite to an exploration of the notion of ”participation”. Participation always raises questions about inclusion and exclusion, and the extent to which ownership and control are negotiated and we have become increasingly dissatisfied with ”the user” as a singular.

Research in participatory practices has over the last decade proliferated into different approaches such as ”Democratic Innovation” (von Hippel, 2005) and “Participatory Innovation” ( Buur & Matthews, 2008). Von Hippels approach advances an understanding of participation as involving lead users in developing novel commodities for the market. In contrast we draw on the Scandinavian tradition of involving employees in implementing new technology into their workplace, and from there we develop “Participatory Innovation” that deals with understanding the nature of the interaction – and non interaction – between the people engaged in designing, producing and using products and services. We wish to spur debate about some of the central questions for research in participatory practices in design and innovation:

How can we understand the interaction between the many stakeholders involved?

  • How do we negotiate participation and who is benefitting from the innovation?
  • What happens to the weaker voices which are dependent on the changes involved, and can they become influential in the processes of interaction?
  • How can we understand the role of and interaction from researchers, facilitators and managers, who themselves cannot avoid to bring in their own intentions?
  • How can Participatory Innovation learn from other participatory practices – such as Participatory Art, Design Activism or Social Design?

Please register with jykj@sam.sdu.dk not later than 5 December

Henry Larsen, SDU Design Eva Knutz and Thomas Marcussen, Design School Kolding