Human Participation Canvas & Toolkit

A toolkit made for designers who wish to tackle social and sustainable projects using participatory approaches. It encourages reflection and openness on inclusive participation.

Download the toolkit here!

Your project is probably under a lot of constraints. You might be limited by project duration, location, or resources. The number of people you can involve is only limited, therefor it is important to reflect on who should be given a precious seat at 'the table'. This toolkit is asking the following questions; Why are you using participation? Who should you invite? What method(s) should you use? How should you invite? How should you execute? And how should you follow up? Use the conversation cards to discuss the questions, and then fill them in on the ‘human participation canvas’.

Reflection based on Actor-Network Theories

This toolkit is the result of my master's thesis in Sustainable Design Engineering at Aalborg University (Copenhagen, Denmark). It is based on theories of Staging Negotiation Spaces, Sustainability Transitions, Thinging, Matters of Concern and Agonism. Download my full thesis report here!

“Don’t just choose who wants to help you, do research and you will find who is important to include.”

(Reflecting on 'who should be invited?')

“If there is a power imbalance, how will you make sure all actors have an equal opportunity to participate?”

(Reflecting on 'how to properly execute?')

Thank you! for using this toolkit, make sure you fill in your main findings on the human participation canvas! Feel free to leave gaps and iterate when needed. But being explicit and open will help your project. As this tool is still in development, I would love to receive any feedback and additions. This toolkit was specifically developed for students within the Sustainable Design Engineering master's at Aalborg University, but my wish is to make future versions more accessible for people with different backgrounds.

I couldn't have done this without:
- My supervisor Birgitte Hoffmann
- Sustainable Design graduates: Tekla, Reyes, Vincent, Siri S., Patrick, Natalia, Lukas, Camilla, Amanda, Sliwa, Matilde
- Maj-Britt from the SDE studyboard, Bob from the welfare organization Elcander, Rosa from the design studio Zeewaardig, Mette from the Danish Board of Technology, and Veerle from the municipality of Utrecht.