Participatory Design of Information Infrastructures

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
Andrew Clement
Faculty of Information Studies

Public participation in the development of information infrastructures is both vital and extraordinarily challenging.


More soon.


No 'solution' as such, but I would like to convene a workshop in conjunction with both DIAC 2002 and PDC 02 (Malmo, Sweden), which explores these issues.

Format: half or full day workshop on the first day of the conference or immediately preceding the conference proper.

Attendees: Prospective applicants are asked to submit 2-5 page position papers that describe their experiences with or reflections on the participation of users/citizenry in developing information/communications infrastructures. The concept of information infrastructure is intentionally broad, so that it encompasses community networks, national ID schemes, classification schemes (a la Bowker and Star), broadband networks, public kiosks for disabled persons, etc. The unifying idea is that these would widely available and useful for a variety of public interest purposes.

The deadline for submission would be March 31. Up to 20 applicants would be invited to attend, with notifications by April 15. The position statements would be circulated in advance to workshop participants and conference attendees via the web. These statements would form the basis of the workshop discussions, either in plenary or in thematic break out groups.

A similarly organized companion workshop is planned for the PDC conference in Malmo in June 2002, with all the position statements shared among the participants of both workshops. (In part the intention is to help link these two CPSR events and their distinctive but compatible themes. Also, it is to enable the participation of Europeans who can't make it to DIAC and North Americans who can't make it to PDC.)

The closing session of the DIAC workshop would consider, revise and hopefully endorse a summary statement, which we would report in the main DIAC conference and then pass to the PDC workshop for similar discussion. Selected individual revised statements and the final summary statement would then be offered for publication in a special issue of the CPSR Journal or other suitable publishing venue.

Pattern status: