Examining adult-child interactions in intergenerational participatory design

Jason C. Yip, Kiley Sobel, Caroline Pitt, Kung Jin Lee, Sijin Chen, Kari Nasu, Laura R. Pina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Prior studies have focused on child interactions in participatory design (PD) with adults and children, but less is known about what specific adult-child interactions constitute a partnership. In this study, we unpack what constitutes an "equal partnership" in PD between adults and children. On the basis of prior literature, we created a new framework that examines the complementary roles between children and adults. Next, we analyzed a case study of a year-long intergenerational design team of children (ages 7-11) and adults. From this analysis, we determined that design partnerships are composed of four dimensions that span from unbalanced to balanced interactions: facilitation, relationship building, design-by-doing, and elaborating together. Finally, to demonstrate its utility, we analyzed two focal co-design sessions using our framework. Our analysis suggests that an equal partnership in PD is not a single static interaction but a development over time of design interactions influenced by context, experience, and participants. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
StatePublished - 2 May 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 ACM.


  • Children
  • Co-design
  • Cooperative inquiry
  • Design methods
  • Participatory design
  • Youth


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