Practitioners from different fields of research and design have understood the importance of involving diverse groups of users in the generation phase of novel artefacts, products and services, and thus facilitating participation has become one of the cornerstones of co-design. Underpinning this approach is the supposition that stakeholders, including users, can contribute productively through involvement in the design process since they bring privileged insights into the domain that designers are trying to address and the ways in which future products and services may fit into and affect that domain. This work addresses how stakeholders can be involved in the ideation, concept development and early prototyping phases of co-design.
Dialogue-labs and its three structuring elements (i.e., process, space and materials), provide a structured way of generating ideas through a sequence of co-design activities. The process provides a clear step-by-step procedure for a two-hour idea-generation session in which participants work in pairs. The space is carefully crafted to align content to different locations, inspire participants and encourage them to move around the room. Finally, the materials are the means for participants to build a design language of their own and to provide different entry points to the design problem.