Designing With or Against Institutions? : Dilemmas of Participatory Design in Contested Cities

Dore, Mayane (2023) Designing With or Against Institutions? : Dilemmas of Participatory Design in Contested Cities. Design and Culture, 15 (1). pp. 27-47. ISSN 1754-7075

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This article explores growing concerns behind the potential instrumentalization of participatory design within democratic institutions and city-making projects. Drawing on ethnographic data collected during a participatory urban redevelopment in Sydney, it analyzes the wider political, economic, and cultural dynamics shaping participatory design (PD) in contested urban spaces. As a result, the article reflects on the institutional frameworks that challenged the democratic claims of PD, analyzing three interdependent levels of institutional constraints: ideology, governance, and narratives. In doing so, the article interrogates the role of expert-led urban governance, of neoliberal ideologies, and the power/knowledge relations in the building of a consensus narrative. Finally, the article concludes by highlighting the contingency of the so-called constraints, exploring an alternative conceptualization of institutions as social relations. Following this approach, designers may challenge constraints and simultaneously work with, against, and beyond institutions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Design and Culture
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Design and Culture on 22/08/2022, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? participatory designcodesigninstitutioningurban planningsydneyneoliberal urbanismcultural studiesvisual arts and performing arts ??
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Deposited On:
24 Aug 2022 08:20
Last Modified:
12 Jul 2024 01:26