Participatory Research

Christopher Le Dantec
Christopher Le Dantec
Assistant Professor

How would you define this big idea?

Participatory Research starts from the principle of research with, not research for. In practice this means working closely with community partners to co-develop a research program, one that reflects the capacities and abilities of community members involved in the project and GT students and faculty.

How is this big idea included in your work?

Since 2012 I have run a project called Community Historians with a partnering organization in the Historic Westside. The research project is focuses on the co-design of digital media (mobile computing, locative media, interactive systems) to foster and support community engagement. Through the partnership we develop and run an evolving set of workshops and public events that train and work with community residents to interview, document, and reflect on the historic and present conditions of their neighborhood. These workshops help build connection and capacity within the community as residents learn from each other, and the systems and media artifacts we produce together provide a point around which shared community identity can be expressed (for other residents and for external audiences such as City Hall).

Learn more:

My lab website that provide a brief overview of the Community Historians project and several other pieces that follow these principles.

The following two papers came out of the Community Historians project. The most recent documents the method and positions it within HCI research, the presents the process and outcomes from the design research conducted early in the project.

C. A. Le Dantec, S. Fox. Strangers at the Gate: Gaining Access, Building Rapport, and Co-Constructing Community-Based Research. In CSCW 2015: Proceedings of the ACM 2015 conference on Computer supported cooperative work, pages 1348–1358, New York, NY, USA, 2015. ACM.

S. Fox, & C. A. Le Dantec. Community Historians: Scaffolding Community Engagement through Culture and Heritage. In DIS ’14: Proceedings of the conference on Designing interactive systems, pages 785–794, New York, NY, USA, 2014. ACM.