1st Edition

Participatory Design and Social Transformation Images and Narratives of Crisis and Change

By John A. Bruce Copyright 2022
    138 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Participatory Design and Social Transformation introduces theories and methodologies for using image-oriented narratives as modes of inquiry and proposition toward greater justice and equity for society and the environment.

    Participatory artistic- and design-based research encounters – being, making, and learning with people, things, and situations – are explored through practices that utilize image-oriented and cinematic narratives. Collaborative alliances are invited to consider aesthetics, visuality, attunement, reflection, reciprocity, and care as a means for transdisciplinary approaches that foster generative and ethically responsible conditions toward collective liberation. The design of spectacles is proposed as a way for collective movements to affectively contribute to positive systemic changes from the ground up. In this way, Participatory Design and Social Transformation bridges contemporary advances in design theory and practice with media and art theory, the human and social sciences, and a pedagogy of interdependence.

    Participatory Design and Social Transformation will be of great interest to both professional and academic communities, providing resources for researchers, artists, designers, activists, students, educators, and leaders engaged with initiatives for transformation.

    1. Images of Crisis, Images of Change

    2. Proximity and Duration, Senses and Images

    3. Movement and Thresholds

    4. Cinematic Tropes and Designing Spectacles


    John A. Bruce is a researcher, design strategist, educator, and filmmaker. He is Assistant Professor of Design Strategies at Parsons School of Design, USA, where he also serves as Director of the Transdisciplinary Design MFA program. He co-directed the documentary film, End of Life, the result of 4 years spent with 5 people at various stages of dying. He was a 2015/16 Fellow at the Graduate Institute for Design Ethnography and Social Thought at The New School.