Modes of Engagement [in Discursive Design]: Problematising gender
Stereotypical gender roles and pervasive systemic gender bias are pressing issues in need of interrogation. Discursive Design (DD) aims to create artifacts that function solely to provoke discourse about topics of social importance and can be applied to the issue of gender. However, the influence of DD on affecting critical thinking in this way is still poorly understood. This research, therefore, examines DD within a Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR) methodology, to better understand how this design practice may (or may not) help create space for changed thinking about gender issues.
The research project creates three discursive design engagements that problematise gender in three unique contexts: gender & public transport, gender & AI, and, later emergences that develop with participants out of the first engagements. This research asks: What do different forms of participation and engagement afford Discursive Design practice? This research has two aims: 1. To interrogate DD practice through positioning participants as active co-creators in various modes of participatory engagement, rather than as a passive ‘audience,’ and; 2. To create communities of practice through DD to interrogate how gender issues are influencing our ‘say, do, relate’ everyday practices. These communities of practice also help examine the appropriateness of conducting CPAR research through discursive design methods.