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Participatory Action Research in the Research Area of Design

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Collaborative Action Research Network Conference


This research review paper treats participatory action research and its uses as a research method in the research area of design, more specifically the use in publications associated with the Design Society organization. Four journals, all connected to the Design Society, are included and treated as to how many of their respective articles feature participatory action research (PAR), aiming to answer the question: How is PAR treated in Design Research, to what extent is it utilized? This research focuses on the methodology employed by the researchers rather than their individual results. All articles are summarized and key findings are discussed in the context of doing research as an industrial research student. This investigation found that participatory action research, as a methodology, is becoming more commonly used, with the majority of articles having been published in 2011 and later. One of the investigated journals CoDesign featured the most papers using participatory action research and given the journals focus on CoDesign a.k.a. participatory design this is to be expected. The difference between CoDesign and participatory action research is discussed and further work is proposed.


author = {Peter Sj{\"o}gren and Erik Lindhult},
title = {Participatory Action Research in the Research Area of Design},
month = {November},
year = {2016},
booktitle = {Collaborative Action Research Network Conference},
url = {}