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Abstract

This paper discusses how we in the participatory design (PD) research community may contribute to the evolution of ICT design1 practices into something that is much more attuned to people using ICT and to their interests. The main idea is that to do so we need to focus more on issues in the gap between politics and techniques, e.g., project funding, types of users and of use settings, the role of companies and of Intellectual Property Rights and the types of projects we work on. The paper presents material illustrating that impor- tant changes are going on in the dimensions outlined by these issues and argues that these changes create important, new opportunities for PD to contribute to the ‘next practices’ of ICT design—as well as serious problems. Thus to exploit these new opportunities we need to improve our understanding of the issues involved and to develop new ways of taking them into account when we design and do research projects.

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