We investigate the concept of participation from the perspective of quality of the contact in the communicative interactions between participants. We argue for the need for an academic-personal competence that qualifies the human contact central in all Participatory Design (PD) activities as a way to contribute to “an era of participation.” We describe a contact perspective in PD developed through a collaboration with body-oriented psychotherapeutic research that have specialized experiences in investigating open-minded contact and authentic meetings as body-related experiences.
Keywords: Participation; contact quality in communicative interactions; academic-personal competence; bodily related awareness; sensations; emotional reality; authentic and focused presence.
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