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Open Access Can participatory design support the transition into innovative learning environments?

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When changing from traditional classrooms to innovative learning environments it is crucial to include the users of the environment in the design process. However, participatory processes might be limited by contrasting expertise, cultures, priorities or project restrictions, which poses a risk to the alignment of spatial design and pedagogical practices. To meet this challenge, the article proposes a post-design participatory activation process aimed to support the transition into new learning spaces. This is exemplified in an empirical case, where co-design methods and physical design objects have been explored as tools to foster spatial literacy and competencies in a fifth-grade cohort (teachers and students), and potentially match pedagogical practices with spatial affordances. Participatory activation is believed to be an ongoing process because learning environments are not static designs – they keep evolving based on people, pedagogies and practices.

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Keywords: co-design methods; design after design; design research; innovative learning environments; participatory design processes; post-design activation; spatial design

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • Intellect is honoured to be publishing its first ever open access journal, Artifact: Journal of Design Practice. Since its first publication in 2007, Artifact has focused on practice-based design research and aims to explore conditions, issues and tasks pertaining to design development in a broad sense. As an international design research journal, Artifact targets the global design research community with the aim of strengthening knowledge sharing and theory building of relevance to design practice. All articles and research notes are subject to double-blind peer-review.

    The journal is cross-disciplinary in scope and welcomes contributions from all fields of design research including product design and visual communication, user experience, interface, and service design as well as design management and organization.

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