50 Years of Design Research









Design Research and Design Participation

Robert Aish 

Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London 


Keywords: Participation; Architecture; Human-Computer-Interaction


This paper brings together some key research issues in design participation: Is it possible to develop a computer-based architectural design application which can be used by completely untutored lay participants in a meaningful design process? How can the designs created by the participants be objectively compared with other building designs created to the same brief by professional architects? What are the implication of design participation as an expression of a wider social and political process of ‘democratisation’? The research described here is based on a pioneering project called ‘Computer Aids for Design Participation’ conducted in the 1970’s. While the computing facilities used in this project would be considered incredibly primitive by today’s standard, the research methodology, including software design and empirical studies with participants is still relevant today.  

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Aish, R. (2016). Design Research and Design ParticipationProceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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