Developing the Relational Dimension of Participatory Design through Creativity-based Methods

Caoimhe Beaulé, Solen Roth, Anne Marchand, Karine Awashish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Based on insights from a decade-long partnership between designers from the Université de Montréal and Indigenous community members of the Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Nation in Canada, this chapter discusses the importance of the relational dimension of community-based participatory design projects. The authors argue that creativity-based methods at the intersection of art, design and craft can nurture ethical collaborative dynamics and challenge the kind of top-down hierarchies that tend to characterise university–community relationships. Although not commonly explicit in design processes, these creativity-based activities can significantly strengthen a project’s relational dimensions which are crucial to collaboratively developing the project’s frameworks, taking inventory of collective resources and contributing to decolonising participatory design processes. However, the extent to which relationships are truly ‘decolonised’ by way of being strengthened and integrating Indigenous world views remains to be seen.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArts-Based Methods for Decolonising Participatory Research
EditorsTiina Seppälä, Melanie Sarantou, Satu Miettinen
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-05340-8
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-51327-6, 978-0-367-51331-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesRoutledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies


  • Decolonising design
  • Participatory design
  • Relational dimension
  • Creativity-based methods

Field of science

  • Multidisciplinary
  • Visual arts and design


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