Participation is Risky


The term “participation” is used frequently within the contexts of design, art, new media and innovation. What is called participation is often no more than simple interaction with participants. A recent generation of designers and artists are noticing an increasing desire for real cooperation, but setting up projects in a participatory way is often not part of their skills.

Participation Is Risky describes the negotiations that designers and artists engage in when setting up participatory projects—with acquaintances and strangers; in public and private; with professionals and amateurs, and with other participants. Based on detailed case studies of participatory projects and a critical review of the literature, this book offers insight in these uncertain, but valuable trade-offs in a hands-on and reflective way, illustrating how interesting participative practices and results are typically characterized by the "risky" confrontation between the differences of disciplines and perspectives. While their work will have no fixed form, Participation Is Risky proposes that artists who engage in participative practices must take the risk of abandoning their traditional roles and evolve through participatory collaboration.

Edited by Liesbeth Huybrechts. With text by Liesbeth Huybrechts, Cristiano Storni, Yanki Lee, Selina Schepers, Jessica Schoffelen, and Katrien Dreessen.

Designed by Metahaven

Published by Valiz with BAM, 2014

Softcover, 344 pages, 50 black & white images, 5.5 × 8.25 inches

ISBN: 978-90-78088-77-6