Designing materials participation
Experiments with design materials for participation

This project develops materials and formats for participatory design—the inclusion of stakeholders in the design of systems whose work and life will be affected by new technologies.

We study design activities to analyse how tools and materials shape people's interactions and their contributions to the process. 

We use this understanding as a basis for the design of new methods and processes (and sometimes new materials) for involving people in the design process, and giving them greater autonomy over the systems they will use. 


  • Khan, A. H., Snow, S., Heiner, S., Hardgrove, R., Matthews, S., & Matthews, B. (2020). The Politics of Materiality: Exploring Participatory Design Methods, Tools & Practices. Proceedings of the Design Research Society (DRS) International Conference. DRS2020, Brisbane.  
  • Matthews, S., Khan, A. H., Boden, M., & Viller, S. (2020). Preserving Sequential Context: Developing Participatory Video Analysis Practice. DRS Biennial Conference Series. 
  • Khan, A. H., Snow, S., Heiner, S., & Matthews, B. (2020). Disconnecting: Towards a Semiotic Framework for Personal Data Trails. Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, 327–340. 
  • Khan, A. H., Heiner, S., & Matthews, B. (2019). Disconnect: A Proposal for Reclaiming Control in HCI. Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, LBW1319. 
  • Khan, A. H., & Matthews, B. (2019a). Democratizing Soap: The Methodological Value of Using Constructive Assemblies as a Participatory Design Tool. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 155–164.  
  • Orlowski, S., Matthews, B., Lawn, S., Jones, G., Bidargaddi, N., & Venning, A. (2018). Designing for practice: Understanding technology use in rural community-based youth mental health contexts. CoDesign, 15(2), 1–22. 
  • Karimi, A., Worthy, P., McInnes, P., Bodén, M., Matthews, B., & Viller, S. (2017). The community garden hack: Participatory experiments in facilitating primary school teacher’s appropriation of technology. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Part F134477, 143–151. 
  • Horst, W., & Matthews, B. (2016). Live Prototyping. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 632–642. 

Get in touch 

For more information about this project, please get in touch:

Dr Ben Matthews 

Project members

Academic and Research Staff

Dr Marie Boden

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Associate Professor Ben Matthews

Associate Professor
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Associate Professor Stephen Viller

Discipline Leader Human Centred Computing & Associate Professor
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering