Narrative Identities in Participatory Art and Design Cases

Daria Akimenko, Essi Kuure


This paper explores identities that come about through the narratives different actors communicate in participatory art and design projects, as opposed to the roles assumed for and by them. This contributes to the discussion of equal engagement in participatory practices. The paper focuses on the notion of narrative identity in the context of two case studies, Good Life in Villages, a design competition held in rural Finnish Lapland with local communities, and Have You Heard, an art intervention working with migrant businesses in Edinburgh, UK. Both cases follow the methodology of design research through practice and artistic research and address current social issues, the former - population ageing and challenges of centralism, and the latter - migration and belonging, through design and art, respectively. The aim of the paper is to propose a different point of view on facilitating participant engagement and adding local meaning to cases through understanding and utilizing narrative identities.

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