Participatory Design, Design Thinking and Innovation for Socio-Technical Systems, Digital Community Infrastructures and Social Change

Prof. José Abdelnour Nocera
Organized 100% remotely

Date: To be defined

Extent: 2 -3 ECTS

More information: Dr. Mikko Rajanen Email:

Course Description

The aim of this PhD course is to raise awareness and to foster discussions around the notions of Participatory Design and Innovation for Socio-Technical Systems and Digital Community Infrastructures with implications to Social Change. The course addresses their interplay in the design, development, evaluation and deployment of interactive systems. A critical view towards mainstream design thinking is projected.

Course Format

The course consists of lectures, workshops and independent group work. Students are required to dedicate a substantial amount of time to independent group work. Empirical work is coordinated by the responsible teacher and conducted by PhD students. The results can be reported as a joint peer-reviewed publication.

Course Project

Working in teams, students will propose a plan to co-design an innovative service for Digital Infrastructures. With a team-based, hands-on approach, students will design new a digital service from initial framing to final solution proposals, using tools and methods for analysing and visualizing the forces that affect communities and innovation. To do so, students are expected to analyze their work context and environment, identify opportunities, and develop new design solutions. Students will present their results in a professional report and seminar presentation (2ECTS). The intended audience of the student presentation is (1) community decision makers who are authorized to initiate the implementation of your proposed service, and (2) designers and engineers who will work out the details of the new service offering that you designed. To prepare for the project, students are expected to do a preliminary research on the ways in which the researchers, designers and community participants can engage, and possible outcomes and to be reflected in a Strategy and Solution Roadmap. For an additional 1 ECTS, the project report can further be developed in a manuscript to be submitted as a peer-review publication.

Final presentation must touch on the following:

- Case Study Summary

- Innovation Context

- Stakeholders and Personas

- Proposed Innovation Types

- Proposed Participatory Design Strategy

- Value Hypothesis - Social Change

- Concept Scenarios

- Solution Storyboard

- Strategy and Solution Roadmap

- User Evaluation

- Socio-Technical Systems

Planned Schedule

Day 1

Introduction to the Course
Lecture: Design and Innovation Readings: Heskett, J. (2002). Toothpicks and logos: Design in everyday life. [pp. 1-11] Brown, T. (2008). Design thinking. Harvard Business Review, 86,84-92. Gardien, P., Djajadiningrat, T., Hummels, C., & Brombacher, A. (2014). Changing your hammer: The implications of paradigmatic innovation for design practice. International Journal of Design, 8(2), 119-139. Carlgren, L., Rauth, I., & Elmquist, M. (2016). Framing Design Thinking: The Concept in Idea and Enactment. Creativity & Innovation Management, 25(1), 38-57. doi:10.1111/caim.12153 Katz, R. (2009). The innovator’s toolkit: 10 practical strategies to develop and implement innovation. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. [pp. 2-13]. Kelley, L. (2013). Ten types of innovation. Hoboken, NJ: John Christensen, C. M. & Raynor, M. E. (2003). The innovator’s solution. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press. [pp. 30-70]. Verganti, R. (2009). Design-driven innovation: Changing the rules of competition by radically innovating what things mean. Harvard. [59-111].
Introduction to Group Project: Participatory Design and Innovation for Socio-Technical Systems and Digital Infrastructures Readings: Khan, Waqar Ahmad, and Zeeshan Amir. "Study of Handicraft Marketing Strategies of Artisans in Uttar Pradesh and Its Implications." Research Journal of Management Sciences 2.2 (2013): 23- 26. Rajanen, M. & Rajanen, D. (2020) “Usability as Speculum Mundi: A Core Concept in SocioTechnical Systems Development”. Complex Systems Informatics and Modeling Quarterly (CSIMQ), no 22, pp. 49-59. DOI: 10.7250/csimq.2020-22.04


Discussion: Update on group project. Selected Case Study Presentations. New Deliverables: - Case Study Summary - Innovation Context - Stakeholders and Personas - Proposed Innovation Types Readings: Kumar, V. (2012). 101 Design Methods. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
Lecture: Participatory Design and Infrastructuring Readings: Star, S. L., & Ruhleder, K. (1996). Steps toward an ecology of infrastructure: Design and access for large information spaces. Information systems research, 7(1), 111-134. Simonsen, J., Karasti, H., Hertzum, M., 2019. Infrastructuring and Participatory Design: Exploring Infrastructural Inversion as Analytic, Empirical and Generative. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Karasti, H., & Baker, K. S. (2004). Infrastructuring for the long-term: Ecological information management. In 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the (pp. 10-pp). IEEE. Sanders E. B---N. & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Co-Design, 4(1), 5-18. Ramaswamy, V. & Gouillart, F. (2010). Building the co-creative enterprise. Harvard Business Review, 88(10), 100---109. Buchenau, M. & Fulton---Suri, J. (2000). Experience Prototyping. In Conference Proceedings on Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, practices, and techniques. New York: ACM Press. [pp. 424---433].

Day 3

Discussion: Update on group project. Selected Case Study Presentations New Deliverables: - Proposed Participatory Design Strategy - Value Hypothesis - Concept Scenarios - Solution Storyboard Readings: Kumar, V. (2012). 101 Design Methods. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
Lecture: Ethical value exchange, critical design thinking and social change Readings and learning materials: ITI Talk Video: "Sociotechnical HCI and Service Design for Ethical Value Exchange" Hertzum, M., Singh, V. V., Clemmensen, T., Singh, D., Valtolina, S., Abdelnour-Nocera, J., & Qin, X. (2018). A mobile app for supporting sustainable fishing practices in Alibaug. interactions, 25(3), 40-45. Irani, L. (2018). “Design Thinking”: Defending Silicon Valley at the Apex of Global Labor Hierarchies. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, 4(1). Brown, T. (2009). Change by design. New York: Harper Business. [150-176] Manzini E. (2014) Making things happen: Social innovation and design. Design Issues, 30(1): 57-66. Clemmensen, T., Rajanen, D., Rajanen, M. & Abdelnour-Nocera, J. (2019) Introduction to the Special Issue on HCI in a Sharing Society. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (11) 3, pp. 107-116. Available at: Mulgan, G. (2006). The process of social innovation. Innovations, 2, 145-162

Day 4

Discussion: Final Presentations and feedback New Deliverables: - Strategy and Solution Roadmap - User Evaluation Readings: Kumar, V. (2012). 101 Design Methods. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley


Last updated: 3.11.2020