We are organising this workshop as part of the Participatory Design Conference (PDC 2022) Embracing Cosmologies: Expanding Worlds of Participatory Design. 19th August - 2nd September 2022
Participatory Design and Participatory Textiles Practices have only recently begun to address their shared roots in notions of solidarity and community-building, as well as movements towards more just worlds. With this workshop, we hope to address, unpick, and strengthen them, by building an interdisciplinary and international community. Our workshop will focus on the processes involved in Participatory Design and Participatory Textiles Practice rather than outcomes, allowing us to acknowledge the need for continuous work and effort, project and relationships maintenance, and so on; and allowing us to appreciate that this work may never be complete. We will do this through fostering shared spaces of knowledge dialogues through the process of making, un-making, and re-making our projects metaphorically and physically.
“(...) anyone who has knitted, quilted, scrapbooked, or painted with others has felt the way that our focus on doing gives way to talking; starting and stopping; intimate, as if the movement of your hands distract you just enough to overcome the hesitation that limits regular conversation.”
To participate in our workshop, we ask prospective participants to submit a short reflexive case study about an e-textiles or textiles project (including but not limited to justice-oriented topics), where they have preferably but not necessarily worked in a participatory way. This may be ongoing work. For those who are not yet working on such projects but are interested in learning more about them, we ask them to reflect on their understanding of the relationship between one or more aspects of: justice, materiality or craft, and participatory making. This should be in landscape format, no longer than 4 pages, including photos, illustrations, and annotations, where possible.
*We hope to accept roughly 15 participants, but this number will depend on how many submissions we receive
We will follow a four-step process: (1) introducing ourselves, (2) unpicking our praxes, (3) re-making our praxes, and (4) discussing next steps.
Participants will be asked to bring an example of a finished or unfinished (e-)textiles piece to materially support the discussions we will have during the workshop - to unpick this in activity one and re-work it in activity 2. We understand the tensions, difficulties, and discomfort that can arise from unpicking textile pieces - feelings which have parallels to the discomfort and tensions of the unpicking of our privileges and oppressions which is necessary for justice-oriented work. We hope this workshop will be an introduction to this practice, allowing participants to decide for themselves how far they take this unpicking - we will expand on this practice in our proposed, shared, outputs.