The Participatory Design Conference (PDC) has a long history in bringing together research concerned with the direct involvement of people in co-design, development, implementation, and appropriation activities around technologies, spaces, artefacts, and services.

The conference invites researchers and practitioners working on participatory design, as it is encountered and discussed in multiple fields.

In 2020, the 16th Biennial Participatory Design Conference (PDC) will be held in Manizales, Colombia, for the first time in South America. It will be hosted by Universidad de Caldas. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Festival de la Imagen 2020 (, one of the largest and most recognized design events in Colombia, which will bring a variety of unique possibilities and encounters for PDC and its community.

PDC 2020’s theme is “Participation(s) otherwise”

Since Participatory Design’s (PD) emergence as a research community, PD scholars have asserted that design is a practical, social and political endeavour. Main PD community‘s commitments include: offering alternative technologies, rendering design processes democratic, open and accessible to wide participation, and amenable to critical scrutiny and mutual learning. By proposing the theme of Participation(s) otherwise, we want to invite the PD community to think further on the diverse meanings and ontologies that participation and design can take on. Let’s open up the understanding of “participation” beyond modernist narratives and theoretically “universal” cookie cutter solutions, and account for diverse practices.

What forms, conceptions and understandings of participation, collaboration, intervention, design and technology can we draw upon to contest essentialist views on participatory design? Are current conceptions coherent with plural understandings and realities? What haven’t we realized before? From whom else are we / can we be learning? 

We welcome a variety of different contributions, such as theoretical elaborations, case study analysis, long term explorations and/or methodological reflections. Submissions may address one or more of the following anchor points. These should not be considered as mandatory, but rather indicative of things we believe require urgent action:

Local/global – place/territory: Explorations of place, space, materiality, and temporality within participatory design and for technologies otherwise.

Economies: Inquiries into the role and scope of participatory design in the critique, reinterpretation and construction of green, circular, open, commons and solidarity processes. This includes also provocative reflections on participatory design processes themselves, understood as a process of exchange.

Representation, resistance and governance otherwise: The potential of participatory design practices to support (or undermine) forms of civic participation, power redistribution and conflict negotiation, to challenge authoritarianism, or explore horizontal ways of organising – including making alternative (or resistive) technologies, spaces, systems, processes or infrastructures.

Design Research: Explorations of new forms of making otherwise and methodological innovations for design as participatory political praxis (including decolonial, feminist, and collective research and action approaches). Reflections on how those can transform scientific writing to be more representative of collaborative knowledge construction processes.

Participation and interculturality: spaces and features of (and for) dialogue and design that avoid universalism and include critical perspectives towards collaboration, co-creation, and the role of technology in these processes.

Categories and submission formats:

  • FULL PAPERS (in English)
  • PLURILINGUAL PD (ES/PT) (in Spanish or Portuguese)
  • BEYOND ACADEMIA (in English)
  • CONVERSATIONS (in English)
  • STUDENT PROJECTS (in English)

Keydates: 1st September 2019 — Submission Deadline for Full papers + Plurilingual track 1st December 2019 — Submission Deadline for Exploratory Papers, Beyond Academia, Exhibitions/Situated Actions, Interactive Workshops and Tutorials, Conversations, and PhD Colloquium 1st December 2019 — Second round submission for Full and Plurilingual papers 15th February 2020 — Notification to (all) authors 28th February 2020 — Student volunteers’ application Deadline 15th March 2020 — Camera ready papers (all formats, except student projects) + Submission Deadline for Student projects 25th April 2020 — Early bird registration Deadline 15-19th of June 2020 PDC Conference and Festival de la Imagen

Join us in Manizales Colombia!
Felipe Londoño, Claudia Jurado and Andrea Botero — General chairs Chiara Del Gaudio and Leonardo Parra — Program chairs More info soon at: