What is Citizen Participation?

It is deemed important for our democracy that public and cultural sectors enable citizen participation. We do design research to make visible the underlying politics of citizen participation and to involve citizens in processes of change.

THE COLLABORATIVE UNIVERSITY
DESIGN ACTIVISM & PUBLIC SPACE

THE COLLABORATIVE UNIVERSITY

EDUCATIONAL-BASED RESEARCH PROJECTS

Since 2015 the Social Design Unit has initiated several education-based research projects made in collaboration with the public sector, NGOs and civic society.

In education-based research students, researchers and collaborative partners work together in projects exploring how participatory approaches can be of value for dealing with central social design issues such as migration and language learning in the wild, citizen budgeting, co-designing sustainable domestic technologies and rethinking public services for marginalized citizens.

Together with our partners we shape and develop educational projects – often framed as a design brief – to be of value for the participating organization, students, and researchers.

Among our collaborative partners are Kolding Libraries, Koldinghus, Kolding Municipality, Kolding Harbor, Cycling without Age, the Energy & Fibernet Provider EWII, among others.

Researchers

Thomas Markussen, Eva Knutz, Diana Andreea Sandu –  Department of Design & Communication, University of Southern Denmark

Partners
Funded by

Co-designing sustainable domestic technologies by It-vest

Budget

300.000 Kr.

Project time

2015 – present

DESIGN ACTIVISM & PUBLIC SPACE

AFFECTS, INTERFACES, EVENTS: A TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH PROJECT

Affects, Interfaces, Events is an on-going collaborative research project funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research, made by researchers from Aarhus University, The IT University, Roskilde University, Copenhagen University and SDU.

The eight sub-projects are focusing on mediated modulation and affect (Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen), on affective interaction design (Jonas Fritsch), on anarchival design (Søren Rasmussen), on evental urbanism (Kristine Samson), on the interfaces of networked affective activism (Camilla Møhring Reestorff), on the affective exchanges of photos in cyberbullying (Jette Kofoed), on affective interfaces and Big Data (Torsten Andreasen) and on design activism in urban space (Thomas Markussen).

Find more information about the project here

ART AND DESIGN ACTIVISM IN PUBLIC SPACE

Art and design activism are central for addressing commercial interests’ and Neoliberalism’s influence on public space and the accompanying diminishing of social equality, citizen rights and democracy. But how can art and design practices be used as aesthetic and critical practices to redistribute power relations, politics of space, citizenship and rights to the city. These and other issues have been the focus of our practical work, experimental exhibitions and writings for more than a decade – and will continue to be!

Events as Dissent was a 2-day research seminar arranged by the Social Design Unit in collaboration with Kristine Samson. Touring around three sites in Aarhus, participants were invited to take part in various activities that explored in what ways events may dissent existing cultural and capitalist system of power.

Agency in the city of Kolding was an exhibition arranged by the Social Design Unit in collaboration with Kathrine Dankl. Through 8 site specific interventions, artists and designers explored how the processes of making of and engaging with artifacts in urban space would question our traditional notions of scale and the agency of human and more-than-human actors.

Researchers

Thomas Markussen, Eva Knutz –  Department of Design & Communication, University of Southern Denmark

Partners

Aarhus University, IT University of Copenhagen, Trekantområdets Festuge, Kolding Municipality

Funded by

Agency in the city of Kolding by Aktivitetspuljen [15.000 Kr.] Affects, Interfaces, Events by The Danish Council for Independent Research[6.477.694 Kr.]

Project time

2015 – 2019

PUBLICATIONS

The politics of design activism – from impure politics to parapolitics

Markussen, T. (2021). Politics of Design Activism: In Design and Political Dissent (pp. 171-183). Routledge

Scaling Experiments in Urban space – An Exploratory framework

Knutz, E., Dankl, K. (2021). In proceedings of NORDES 2021, Nordic Design Research Society Conference, Kolding School of Design/Institut of Design & communication, University of Southern Denmark

Politics of participation in design research: Learning from participatory art

Knutz, E., & Markussen, T. (2020). Design Issues36(1), 59-76

Kultur og Design

Markussen, T. (2019) in B. Eriksson & B. Schiemer (eds.) Ny kulturteori. København: Hans Reitzels, pp. 435-462

The impure politics of design activism

Markussen, T. (2019). In T. Bieling (ed.) Design & Activism. Mimesis International: Perspectives on design as activism and activism as design.
Mimesis edizioni, pp. 35-46

Using Design Activism to Re-negotiate the Roles and Rights for Patients

Knutz, E. Markussen, T. Mårbjerg Thomsen, S., Ammentorp J. (2014). In proceedings of Design Research Society Biennial International Conference, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden

The disruptive aesthetics of design activism – enacting design between art and politics

Markussen, T. (2013). In Design Issues, vol. 29 (1), 38-50 MIT Press

PUBLICATIONS

Kultur og Design

Markussen, T. (2019)In B. Eriksson & B. Schiemer (eds.)Aktuelle kulturteoretiske temaer – en grundbog.København: Hans Reitzels forlag

The impure politics of design activism

Markussen, T. (forthcoming)In T. Bieling (ed.)Design & ActivismMimesis International

The politics of design activism – from impure
politics to parapolitics

Markussen, T. (2021)In J. Traganou (ed.)Design & Dissent.London & New York: Routledge

The disruptive aesthetics of design activism – enacting design between art and politics

Markussen, T. (2013)In Design Issues, vol. 29 (1), 38-50MIT Press.