Participatory Sensemaking Through Visualising Conversations

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Mapping & Modelling, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Olaf Adan, Dan Lockton, and Steven Houben

Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Both conversations between people and finding ways to visualize complex phenomena are important topics for sensemaking in systemic design research. This presentation introduces the COCOnUT and TaCo projects, which together create a system that extracts words from conversations, visualizes them using a diagrammatic approach, and enables participants to combine and annotate them in near-real time, using a tangible interface. Particularly in multi-stakeholder contexts such as democratic deliberation, or participatory policy-making, the ability for participants to see what is being said (and what has been said) by themselves and others and to investigate and interact with themes emerging from the conversation—ideas that have been re-stated or reframed, terms used to mean different things, different terms used to mean the same thing, ideas which should be grouped together, and so on – are all part of a process of understanding each other’s understanding. Ongoing work will explore possibilities for this kind of tool as part of participatory sensemaking in design and conversation processes.

Keywords: systemic design, conversation, participatory sensemaking, natural language processing

Citation Data

Author(s): Olaf Adan, Dan Lockton, and Steven Houben
Year: 2022
Title: Participatory Sensemaking Through Visualising Conversations
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 149
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 21 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested citation format (APA)

Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

Publishing with RSD

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

Papers and presentations are entered into a single-blind peer-review process, meaning reviewers see the authors’ names but not vice versa. Reviewers consider the quality of the proposed contribution and whether it addresses topics of interest or raises relevant issues in systemic design. The review process provides feedback and possible suggestions for modifications.

The Organising Committee reviews and assesses workshops and systems maps & exhibits with input from reviewers and the Programme Committee.

Editor: Cheryl May
Peter Jones
Ben Sweeting

The Scholars Spiral

In 2022, the Systemic Design Association adopted the scholars spiral—a cyclic non-hierarchical approach to advance scholarship—and in 2023, launched Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal. Together, the RSD symposia and Contexts support the vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars and practitioners to publish work in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

The Systemic Design Association's membership ethos is to co-create the socialization and support for all members to contribute their work, find feedback and collaboration where needed, and pursue their pathways toward research and practice outcomes that naturally build a vital design field for the future.


Verified by MonsterInsights