Disentangling participation through time and interaction spaces–the case of IT design for energy demand management

Giacomo Poderi, Mela Bettega, Andrea Capaccioli, Vincenzo D'Andrea

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Participatory Design has recently seen growing interest in developing critical forms of reflexivity able to disentangle the complexity of participatory ensembles. This article makes a methodological contribution to this endeavour. Drawing on socio-cognitive analyses of collaborative design, it proposes the frame of ‘interaction spaces’ as a scaffolding tool for conducting retrospective analyses of participatory design processes. The paper uses the ‘interaction spaces’ frame to analyse the three years of collaborative activities of the CIVIS Project. Through a longitudinal and multi-dimensional account of participatory dynamics involved in the designing, prototyping and testing of an IT platform for home energy management, the frame evidences how participatory configurations evolve over time; it makes clearer the characteristics of participation as partial and overtaken; and it identifies moments of cross-participation as potential basis for the boundary-spanning of design issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Interaction spaces
  • multiplicity
  • temporal dimension
  • political ontology
  • participation as partial and overtaken
  • participatory configurations


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