In TRADERS six complementary research approaches/methods are covered on participation for public space:

1. Intervention (Faculty of the Arts, LUCA/Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg, Belgium)

Intervention (an act or fact of intervening) in public spaces can be understood as a participatory act performed to stimulate (public) involvement in order to create social awareness regarding a.o. public issues. This approach is investigated in the context of some of the research groups of the Faculty of Arts, involved with participatory and public space contexts (“]pyblik[“, Art, Space and Context, Music Education and Music Therapy links), the art centre Z33, and is led by the research group Social Spaces.
Researcher: Pablo Calderón Salazar (

Supervisors: Dr. Liesbeth Huybrechts ( or Dr. Veerle Van der Sluys (

2. Play (HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

Focusing on design as a means of creating meaning rather than solving problems, this research approach addresses how public space can be re-conceptualized and materialized in perspective of the particular challenges and opportunities provided by children and young adults. This research approach is developed by HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, in collaboration with the company KOMPAN.

Researcher: Annelies Vaneycken (
Supervisor: Dr. Henric Benesch (

3. Multiple Performative Mapping (Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands)

Multiple mapping refers to developing a multi-layered map: a (digital) map that not only depicts the conventional spatial patterns in the area, but also the different stakeholders’ understanding of the area, how they actually use it, experience it, value it and what they expect from it. The Public Space Department of Design Academy Eindhoven leads this research topic in collaboration with STBY.
researcher:Naomi Bueno de Mesquita (

supervisor: Dr. David Hamers (

4. Data-mining (The Royal College of Art/School of Architecture, United Kingdom)

As our ability to sense, gather and compute data increases at an exponential rate due to digital technologies, RCA will expose the researchers to the conceptual and methodological issues concerning the gathering and management of large datasets that cannot be computed manually. This research method is explored by RCA in collaboration with Commonplace Dig. Ltd.

researcher: Saba Golchehr (
supervisor: Prof. Susannah Hagan (

5. Modelling in dialogue (Chalmers University of Technology/Department of Architecture, Sweden)

Modelling in Dialogue serves as both a systemic tool for handling data and a mode to analyse, re-work and re-frame on-site interventions in explorative laboratory contexts. Modelling renders means to visualise and communicate new possibilities and uses both digital and hands-on techniques. This approach is researched by the Architectural department of Chalmers Tekniska Hoegskola in collaboration with the city of Gothenburg.

researcher: Jon Geib (
supervisor: Prof. Dr. Catherina Dyrssen

6. A meta-framework for approaching participation in public space (KU Leuven/Planning and Development and the Architecture and Culture Theory research units, Belgium)

The meta-framework is developed for artists and design researchers (or researchers and practitioners in other disciplines) who want a guideline to approaching participation in public space contexts. To develop this framework a sociological researcher at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven investigates how the 5 research approaches (intervention, play, mapping, data-mining and modelling) communicate and collaborate with each other. Since art and design processes are never linear, different sequences between the five research approaches (and within the meta-framework) are possible.

researcher: Michael Kaethler (
supervisor: Prof. Dr. Frank Moulaert ( and Prof. Dr. Hilde Heynen (