Call for Papers

Re-imagining Participatory Design

A Special Issue of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM TOCHI)

This call is now closed to new submissions.

The Re-imagining Participatory Design special issue published in TOCHI Volume 24, Issue 1. This great special issue and all the articles published in it are now available on the ACM Digital Library:


  1. Introduction: Reimagining Participatory Design—Emerging Voices: Liam Bannon, Jeffrey Bardzell, Susanne Bødker
  2. Amplifying Quiet Voices: Challenges and Opportunities for Participatory Design at an Urban Scale: Daniel Gooch, Matthew Barker, Lorraine Hudson, Ryan Kelly, Gerd Kortuem, Janet Van Der Linden, Marian Petre, Rebecca Brown, Anna Klis-Davies, Hannah Forbes, Jessica Mackinnon, Robbie Macpherson, Clare Walton
  3. Participatory Design and Participatory Research: An HCI Case Study with Young Forced Migrants: Ana Maria Bustamante Duarte, Nina Brendel, Auriol Degbelo, Christian Kray
  4. Participatory Design that Matters—Facing the Big Issues: Susanne Bødker, Morten Kyng
  5. Participatory Design in Emerging Civic Engagement Initiatives in the New Public Sector: Applying PD Concepts in Resource-Scarce Organizations: Sofie Pilemalm
  6. Utopias of Participation: Feminism, Design, and the Futures: Shaowen Bardzell


Original Call Text for Archival Purposes:


Deadline for Submissions: (be sure to see also our author’s instructions)

  • September 15, 2016: Jan 5, 2017: Informal submission of abstract to special issue editors at

– Submission of an abstract is not required, but very strongly recommended for prospective special issue authors.


Information for Contributors

We seek original contributions for a Special Issue of TOCHI on Reimagining Participatory Design (PD).

In particular, we seek research contributions that address the potentials and failures of participatory design in pursuing its democratizing project in emerging Information Technology (IT) domains. We solicit research papers that open up new horizons in Participatory Design for the field, or critically examine successes and failures of the past. Conceptual, methodological, and empirical papers are welcome.

When participatory design related to information technology in the workplace emerged in the 1970s, it sought to rebalance power and agency among managers and workers. Today’s Information Technology domains are more heterogeneous and less defined, and in many new contexts, it is difficult to bring sociotechnical conflicts into the open, whereby stakeholders are empowered to participate. As a result, power and agency seems to have gravitated away from end users and other stakeholders to government and multinational agencies.

Meanwhile, participatory design often seems to have become synonymous with a more neutral form of ‘user-centered’ design, concentrating on more local issues of usability and user satisfaction.

This is in contrast to earlier work in the field where Participatory Design not only sought to incorporate users in design, but also to intervene upon situations of conflict through developing more democratic processes.

This special issue extends an invitation to think boldly about the future of participatory design.

As guidance for possible topics for special issue contributions, we ask questions including (but not limited to) the following:


  • How are Information Technology systems today embedded in, or embodying, political conflicts such that Participatory Design could make a positive contribution?
  • What is (or should be) the role of Participatory Design in new computing contexts, including makers, ubiquitous computing, robotics, Internet of Things, cultural and creative industries, and other emerging trends?
  • How do we make sense of, and enact change in global coordination protocols that embody problematic power relations and scant worker protection? (e.g., crowdsourcing models such as Amazon Mechanical Turk.)
  • In what ways has participatory design failed to give voice to the marginal? How has it ignored, coopted, homogenized marginal voices? How might it do better?
  • How does, should, or could Participatory Design intersect with critical design, speculative design, feminist HCI, action research, design fictions, HCI for peace, and so forth?
  • How can Participatory Design help designers move from helping people do what they are already doing towards helping them make better decisions in future projects?



Abstracts due Sept 15, 2016. Jan 5, 2017. We strongly recommend informal submission of abstracts to the special issue editors at

Final manuscripts are due Oct 05, 2016 Jan 23, 2017, but earlier submissions are encouraged.


Please direct inquiries regarding the special issue to


Special Issue Editors:

  • Liam Bannon (University of Limerick and Aarhus University)
  • Jeffrey Bardzell (Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing)
  • Susanne Bødker (Aarhus University & Associate Editor, TOCHI)
  • For questions, please contact

Schedule and Submission Details

Pre-Submission Abstract Due: Sept 15, 2016 Jan 5, 2017 (email to
Full Manuscript Submission deadline: Oct 05, 2016 Jan 23, 2017 (must submit to:

The tentative reviewing timeline is as follows:

Reviews Due: Dec 15, 2016  April 5, 2017
First-round notifications to authors: Jan 10, 2017  April 27, 2017
First-round revisions due: March 1, 2017  June 27, 2017

Papers that pass the first round of reviewing will enter revisions and a second round of consideration:

Second-round reviews due: May 1, 2017  Sept 1, 2017
Second-round (final) author notifications: May 10, 2017  Sept 20, 2017
Final revisions Due: Aug 10, 2017  Oct 15, 2017
Special Issue Published: Late 2017 (estimated)  January 2018 (Vol 25, Issue 1)


All contributions will be rigorously peer reviewed to the usual exacting standards of TOCHI. Further information, including TOCHI submission procedures and advice on formatting and preparing manuscripts, can be found at:

Manuscripts are submitted via the ACM online manuscript system at:

Please note that TOCHI remains open to regular submissions, as well, throughout the special issue call.