PDC 2022: 

It Starts with Healing: Acknowledging Collective Trauma in Participative Futuring

It Starts with Healing: Acknowledging Collective Trauma in Participative Futuring is a hybrid worship organized as part of the Participatory Design Conference (PDC) 2022. This workshop explores the links between healing ourselves and our aspirations for transformative social change, particularly via participatory design modalities.  Over the last two years, we have lived through the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a continued climate crisis. For many, these events have led to/contribute to symptoms like anxiety, depression, body pain, and scattered focus. Without acknowledging our feelings about these events, our symptoms could become worse and it will become more difficult to effectively work towards more hopeful and healthy futures. This workshop thus insists on taking our recent collective traumas seriously in building futures that we want to live in. We call for the development of methodologies for participatory and experiential futures based on PDC’s nascent research directions such as autoethnography, somaesthetics, and embodied design. Our aim is to work towards a better understanding of how PD might support healing ourselves in service of collective healing and social change.


This workshop is intended for researchers, designers, activists, and artists that are interested in utilizing healing methods and acknowledging the role of trauma in the participatory design process. 

Tentative Schedule:

Workshop Schedule



9:00 am to 10:00 am


Organizers introducing workshop objectives, schedule, activities, followed by participants presentations

10:00 am to 10:45 am

Smell & Taste

A facilitated tea ceremony will invite participants to engage in a multi-sensory ritual and reflect on its potential healing qualities.

10:45 am to 11:30 am

Movement Activity 

The movement exercise will be a dynamic exercise to connect breath and emotion to movement through an activity such as dance or yoga nidra. 

11:30 am to noon 

Sound Activity 

An immersive experience like a sound bath to soothe our thoughts and refocus our attention to the mind-body connection.

Noon to 1 pm


1:00 pm to 3 pm

Participatory Futuring 

Leveraging design futures, participants will split into groups to use their autoethnographic reflections to develop alternative futures.

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Presentation and Debriefing 

Participants will present design ideas and all will participate in a discussion and critique

4:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Workshop wrap-up 

A final discussion to reflect on the day and discuss next steps


The workshop will take place on August 30 10:00–6:00 (BST). 


This workshop will take place in-person in Newcastle at the Urban Sciences Building, Newcastle University. There will also be an online component based on interest and participation.


Possible outcomes could include a website that features the artifacts created during the workshop and a list of relevant literature. We will finalize the post workshop outreach plans collaboratively with our participants. 


We invite a minimum of five participants and up to fifteen participants to join us for this workshop. To be considered, prospective participants will submit a short submission to be considered for this workshop. The submission can be any of the following: short abstract (up to 500 words), audio or video file (2-3 minutes), or an artifact to the participant with an accompanying text to explain the context and significance (100 words) that expresses their interest in the workshop topics. The deadline to submit is by June 15, 2022 July 1, 2022.

Submit your materials to Catherine Wieczorek: crw5756@psu.edu.


Please review the conference website for these details. Note that early bird conference registration ends on July 1, 2022.


Catherine Wieczorek (she/her) is a designer and researcher, working at the intersection of public health, design, and feminism. She is a first year PhD student in Human Computer Interaction at Penn State University. 

Heidi Biggs (they/them) is a second year PhD in Human Computer Interaction at Penn State University. Their research investigates how environmental data can be critiqued and understood through embodied knowledge and critical making for radical sustainability agendas. 

Maggie Jack (she/her) researches the role of media in post-conflict healing, along with other questions of work and technology in global contexts. She is a postdoctoral scholar at Syracuse University and holds a PhD in Information Science (2020) from Cornell University. 

Laura Forlano (she/her) is a writer, social scientist and design researcher, working on technology, disability justice and participatory futures. She leads the Critical Futures Lab as an Associate Professor of Design at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology. She has organized over 15 workshops in the past 10 years.

Shaowen Bardzell is Professor at Penn State University. Her research explores the contributions of design, feminism, and social science to support technology’s role in social change. She has organized numerous workshops at SIGCHI venues and beyond (2007-2022), including CHI, DIS, CSCW, NordiCHI, Aarhus Conference, British HCI, PDC, EPIC, ACE, and 4S among others.

Jeffrey Bardzell is Associate Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University. His research contributes to human-computer interaction and design, with emphases on research through design, creativity support, social innovation, and user experience design.