Participatory Design Conference 2018

Participatory Design, Democracy and Politics

The Participatory Design Conference (PDC) is an international conference that is organised from the 20th until the 24th of August in Hasselt and Genk (Belgium). For four days, you can visit and participate in a variety of workshops, lectures, exhibitions, (paper) presentations and enjoy food, drinks and informal events in locations in both cities. These are all related to the challenge of approaching design processes and projects (of cities, products, ICT systems, etc.) in participatory ways, with the people who have a stake in these processes and projects (citizens, policy makers, businesses, etc.).

The conference gathers a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers and practitioners (outside of academia) encompassing a wide range of issues that emerge around participatory design, encountered and discussed in multiple fields. These include, but are not limited to, architecture and spatial planning, design, arts, co-design, sociology, media studies or development studies.

PDC 2018 will be held in Belgium, in a year that is characterised by municipal elections in the region. Not only on a local level are things in motion; we are facing several challenges on a global level too: growing economic and social inequalities, growing migration rates, and a rise of xenophobia, right-wing upsurge and securitarian policies. PDC 2018’s theme, ‘Participatory Design, Politics and Democracy’, questions both the role of architecture and design practitioners in the participatory processes themselves (can design be democratic and how) and in the changing political landscape.

We invite practitioners and researchers to submit proposals before the 9th of February 2018 for our exhibition (category: Situated actions), our conference (category: short papers) or workshops and PhD colloquium. Of course you are also more than welcome to just visit and participate in the conference in August 2018.

Please see for more information. If you have questions in relation to this conference, contact

We look forward to you joining us in Genk & Hasselt (Belgium) in 2018!

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