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Title: Unpacking Paradox in Co-Design
Authors: Papendieck, Adam
Tierney, Gavin
Nguyen, Kevin
James, Nikki
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Papendieck, A., Tierney, G., Nguyen, K., & James, N. (2024). Unpacking Paradox in Co-Design. In Lindgren, R., Asino, T. I., Kyza, E. A., Looi, C. K., Keifert, D. T., & Suárez, E. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2024 (pp. 1718-1721). International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Here we examine “paradox,” a particular kind of contradiction inherent in participatory design and co-design. As with any perceived contradiction in human experience, paradoxes may urgently demand resolution, thereby motivating and orienting learning and changemaking through design. However, resolving a paradox involves grappling with an apparent antinomy between equally sound, justified or valued perspectives, processes or solutions. This may drive very rational, inclusive and well-structured co-design processes towards activities and outcomes that may seem irrational, ironically counterproductive and even absurd. We examine examples of paradox in participatory/co-design, showing how participants grapple with paradox in different ways, and how unpacking “paradox in practice” helps us understand (and potentially avoid) undesirable ends. We make the case that attention to paradox is critical for equitable design.
Description: Short Paper
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2024

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