Engaging with Ghosts, Idiots & ___________________– Otherness in Participatory Design

Laura Popplow, Melisa Duque-H.


This paper is an experiment to engage with ghosts, idiots, with the unspoken –––––– and with the notion of ‘Otherness’ (Law 2004). By understanding writing as an enactment, a practice in-the-making, we invite you to join us in this experiment.

We describe experiences of Otherness from our design-research and show how the roles of ghosts, idiots and Others can unsettle participatory design events, while helping to address existing hegemonic structures, including the ones we create as design-researchers. On a second level, this contribution is a reflection of the ghosts we create through re-presented experience in writing about co-design events, and on how to possibly invite Otherness also in the re-presentation of research. This is a risky and troublesome process, but we invite you to ‘stay with the trouble’ (Haraway 2016).

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