The "least-adult" role in participatory design with children

Bronwyn J. Cumbo, Eva Eriksson, Ole Sejer Iversen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOZCHI'19
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 31st Australian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction
    EditorsArtur Lugmayr, Martin Masek, Mark Reynolds, Margot Brereton, Ryan Kelly, Virpi Roto, Ingrid Richardson, Haifeng Shen, Callum Parker, Naseem Ahmadpour, Jo Li Tay, Jared Donovan, Simon Perrault
    Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450376969
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
    EventAustralian Computer Human Interaction Conference 2019 - Esplanade Hotel Fremantle, Fremantle, Australia
    Duration: 2 Dec 20195 Dec 2019
    Conference number: 31st (Proceedings)

    Publication series

    NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


    ConferenceAustralian Computer Human Interaction Conference 2019
    Abbreviated titleOZCHI 2019
    Internet address


    • CCI
    • Children
    • Context
    • Least-Adult role
    • Participatory design

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