CoDesign Special Issue, Proposed Publication Date March 2022

Guest Editors: Professor Lynn-Sayers McHattie, Glasgow School of Art; Dr. Brian Dixon, Ulster University

Designing for Reimagined Communities: Addressing pluralities of values, economies of wellbeing and building sustainable capacities.

Participatory design and co-design are increasingly practiced in open-ended civic contexts, with the focus being directed towards social, cultural and place-based issues. Place-based research conducted with community groups or citizens explores how societal differences or infrastructural challenges might be addressed by reconfiguring behaviours or identifying shared environmental resources as cultural assets. The aim of such work may be specific, or equally it may be broader in scope, for example, to inform organisational approaches or policy. In either case, efforts will be directed towards reimagining how communities or groups come together; how they associate and interact; and how economies of wellbeing and relational exchange operate.        

Within this, designers are called upon to approach participation and practice in a particular way. Clearly, if a proposed transformation is to be successful and gain wide acceptance, it must be based on democratic and representative participation, as well as fair and equitable decision-making. There is an attendant need to ensure that participants are equal partners in the process and that research outcomes have legacy and impact; empowering communities; and reaching relevant audiences beyond the research context. Spatial and temporal considerations are involved and new challenges regularly emerge, requiring designers to remain engaged, flexible and agile. For example, we have seen how the global Covid-19 pandemic has led to a proliferation of novel digital and asynchronous modes of engagement. Such considerations give rise to a number of broad questions and potential challenges:

  • How can design best support a reimagining of the ways communities and groups come together – accommodating and overcoming any tensions, working productively with existing cultural and physical/material assets – to envisage new associations and interactions, economies of wellbeing and exchange?
  • How, within this, can we ensure that participation is equitable, representative and inclusive, involving as many marginal groups/voices as possible, addressing inequalities, pluralities of value and allowing for a sense of ownership?
  • How is the process of decision-making best managed? What methods, tools, artefacts, frameworks, strategies and tactics are best in which situations, whether digital or physical, synchronous or asynchronous?
  • How does design manage the potential spatial and temporal scale of engagement? How do the past, present and the future interact with one another in the process of innovation?
  • How do we ensure that something happens, that commitments are made, that change is enacted and research projects have a legacy towards building new communities and informing policy?

We invite authors to submit an extended abstract (maximum 1000 words with references) in relation, but not limited to, one or more of the above questions. While the domain of concern is necessarily broad, we would like authors to give specific regard to the concept of ‘designing for reimaged communities’ within the broader and multi-variant contextualisation of environmental, land and community assets.  


August 2020                       Launch of Call

October 14th 2020            Deadline for the submission of 1000 word abstracts

November 13th 2020        Post-review notification of decisions on abstracts

February 26th 2021           Submission of full manuscripts                    

May 30th 2021                   Post-review notification of decisions on full manuscripts

September 30th 2021       Deadline for the submission of revised manuscripts  

December 20th 2021        Final selected manuscripts to production  

March 30th 2022               Publication of special issue

Instructions for Authors

1000 word abstracts should be sent by email to Professor Lynn-Sayers McHattie The Glasgow School of Art and Dr. Brian Dixon Ulster University by Wednesday October 14th 2020 in MS word (.doc or .docx). Abstracts will be reviewed by the Joint Guest Editors. Abstracts deemed to be outside the scope of the call will be rejected without further review.

Following an initial evaluation of the abstracts, full manuscripts will be invited from selected authors, with a brief review appended. Once submitted, these will be subject to the normal review procedure of the journal. Manuscripts should be prepared according to guidelines which can be found on the journal website  ( - link “Instructions for Authors”).  

All submissions should be made online at the CoDesign Manuscript Central site at: Authors submitting to CoDesign for the first time will need to create an account. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the same website. All published articles will undergo rigorous peer review, based on the Joint Guest Editors' initial screening and anonymous refereeing by independent expert referees.

Any enquiries regarding the call may be directed to Professor Lynn-Sayers McHattie ( The Glasgow School of Art or Dr. Brian Dixon ( Ulster University.

Asset 4