The "least-Adult" role in participatory design with children
Paper i proceeding, 2019
Child participation in design is a central focus of Child Computer Interaction (CCI) research, however, examples of participatory research with children are primarily situated in adult-led contexts (e.g. design lab, classroom, museum) where design objectives, activities and tools are devised and facilitated by adults. In this paper, we contribute to current discussions by describing a participatory study situated within the "child-led nature-play contexts" of nine children (7-11 years). By adapting the role of "least-Adult" originally described in the childhood studies literature, we describe how this role can be established to access these exclusive play places and maintained through co-inquiry into each child's unique play practice. This research contributes to current discussions of child participation in CCI by (i) introducing the role of least-Adult as an approach to engaging with children through participatory research, (ii) recognising the influence of place in shaping child participation, and (iii) pointing to spatial-Temporal contextual factors as an important factor for enabling and shaping participatory research.