Re-Thinking Tourism

for a Planet in Crisis


co-creation and exchange between users and providers




1.the quality or act of taking part in something
2. the fact or condition of being involved with or participating in something
3. emotional or personal association with someone


take part, engage, join

share, play a part, play a role

partake, cooperate, help, assist, lend a hand

go in for, contribute to, be associated with, associate oneself with, have a hand in


collaboration, collusion, complicity, connivance, implication, incrimination, inculpation; association, connection, attachment, embroilment, entanglement, inclusion




accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance


inactive, non-active, non-participative, non- participating, uninvolved, dormant, quiescent, inert

submissive, acquiescent, unresisting, yielding, unassertive, non-resistant, compliant


emotionless, impassive, indifferent, unemotional, unmoved, unconcerned, dispassionate, passionless, detached, unresponsive, undemonstrative, remote, aloof, calm, apathetic, phlegmatic, lifeless


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PA 2
Raumlabor Berlin _ Spacebuster
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image (3)
Hamers, David, Bueno de Mesquita, Naomi,
PA 1
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par__mai '86 affiche
Simon, Nina, The Participatory Museum (M
Miessen, Markus, Crossbenching: Toward a
Thunberg, Greta, No One Is Too Small to
Marina Abramovic _ The Artist is Present
PA 3
Miessen, Markus, The Nightmare of Partic

when does the participatory act empower?

May 68 Protests
Paris, France
2 May - 23 June 1968

This period of protests involving demonstrations, general strikes and the occupation of universities and factories, aimed at subverting bourgeois culture. These protests became iconic for transforming France within a very short time.

…as a collective form of protest and demonstration

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The Bureaucracy of Participation

This concept challenges the concept of a direct democracy, by proposing a participatory democracy in which citizens are part of the actual decision making process.

…by a network of relationships between collaborators and its activity, conditioned by levels of investment and interest

Bishop, Claire, Participation (Whitechap
Claire Bishop

This book is a collection of writings and essays about the role of participation in art. Different aspects and problematics of participation are addressed: what happens when the passive observer turns into a co-author, what is the social value of co-creation, motivation of participants to take an active role, levels of participation are differentiated, how participation influences the aesthetical outcome.

 ‘‘As opposed to the dominant ideological order that alienates the subordinated, activating and involving the audience as co-producers of the art work have been considered as ways to emancipate and empower the viewer. At the same time, it also renounced the author's control position (~authorship), thus participation has reinforced new social bonds and interhuman relations (~collaboration).’’
- Claire Bishop
Do We Dream Under The Same Sky • Rirkrit Tirivanija • Art Basel • Basel, Switzerland • 2015

This Project is a large scale temporary installation using the heat of direct amplified sun rays to cook meals instead of relying on the use of fossil fuel based energy. It aims to encourage social interaction between the visitors by having people eat and do the cleanup together.

… by visitor engagement and socialization through confrontation

The Artist is Present • Marina Abramovic • 2010 • New York

This project is a performance, in which Abramovíc sat silently at a table across from an empty chair and waited as people took turns sitting in the chair and locking eyes with her. Many of the strangers were very moved by this experience.


…by voluntary engagement through investment of time and concentration


how can participation break the boundaries of the comfort zone?

Simon, Nina, The Participatory Museum (M
The Participatory Museum
Nina Simon
Museum 2.0

This book is a practical guide to working with community members and visitors in the context of cultural institutions. Through innovative design techniques and practices, Simon makes a powerful case for participatory practice and the implementation of it practical.

‘‘Supporting participation means trusting visitors' abilities as creators, remixers, and redistributors of content. It means being open to the possibility that a project can grow and change post-launch beyond the institution's original intent. Participatory projects make relationships among staff members, visitors, community participants and stakeholder more fluid and equitable. They open up new ways for diverse people to express themselves and engage with institutional practice..’’
- Nina Simon
p. 3
Fun Palace • Cedric Price • London, UK • 1961

This Project depicts a new built multifuncional building, that thanks to technology could actively respond to its users. All different kind of activities would have been available and the visitor could choose if and how to take part to them.

…by a responsive infrastructure, enabling spontaneous interaction based on a user’s needs

when does participatory design lead to new creation?

Participatory Action Research (PAR)

This concept involves integrating participation, research and action in the idea that research and action must be done “with people” not “for them”. These principles promote the grounding of knowledge and aim to collectively bring about meaningful change.

…by a method or research through action and the generation of a collaborative experience

par__participatory action research PAR.j

Spacebuster • Raumlabor Berlin • 2009 • New York

This project depicts how the architecture practice Raumlabor, designed a mobile portable pavilion with which they travelled to several locations across New York City over 10 days, hosting a variety of community events, discussions parties and gatherings.

…by an interactive mobile platform for temporary collective use


how does participation mediate between the individual and the collective?

Stakeholder vs Shareholder

These concepts are in conflict with one another. The shareholder owns part of the company and aims to make the company more profitable. Stakeholders are those influenced by the company such as the local community or employees, whose aim is to make the business successful.

…by a network of relationships, conditioned by levels of investment and interest

Miessen, Markus, The Nightmare of Partic
The Nightmare of Participation: Crossbench Praxis as a Mode of Criticality
Markus Miessen
Sternberg Press

This book, precedent to Miessen’s Crossbenching: Toward Participation as Critical Spatial Practice, revivifies the term "participation" rendered uncritical in its increasing overuse as the default of politicians withdrawing from responsibility. Miessen argues for an urgent inversion, a model beyond modes of consensus, in which conflict acts as an enabling force. Conflictual participation becomes no longer a process of invitation, but a means of acting without mandate: a forced entry into fields of knowledge that arguably benefit from this exterior thinking.


‘‘At the moment, participation is at a point of transition within politics, within the Left, within spatial practices, and within architecture, which is its most visible and clearly defined product. Both historically and in terms of political agency, participation is often read through romantic notions of negotiation, inclusion, and democratic decision-making. However, it is precisely this often-unquestioned mode of inclusion (used by politicians as never-ending campaigns for retail politics) that does not produce significant results, as criticality is challenged by the concept of the majority.’’
- Markus Miessen
p. 13

One Month Residency • Banksy • New York, USA • 2013

This project was a month long residency in New York, where Banksy presented one new work each day. These artworks were released online, and the public would search the city to find the newest piece each day.


…by a subversive production of a temporary spectacle


Miessen, Markus, Crossbenching: Toward a
Crossbenching: Toward Participation as Critical Spatial Practice
Markus Miessen
Sternberg Press

This book on the politics of participatory practices in architecture, spatial practices and art discusses participation as a set of conflicts between architects, clients, builders and even materials. As a fundamentality, architecture belongs to no one, affects and is affected by everyone. Such a perspective raises several political and ethical questions, including how we deal with ownership and the role of participation in politics.

‘‘The practice should be understood and exercised as a sounding board that makes visible and discloses the underlying conflicts of what one is facing, to exacerbate them, to create and nurture complications, to work with and around them in a productive way, and to act upon them.’’
- Markus Miessen
p. 5

to what extent does the participatory enable authentic (social) interaction?

Hamers, David, Bueno de Mesquita, Naomi,

Trading Places: Practices of Public Participation in Art and Design Research
David Hamers, Noami Bueo de Mesquita, Annelies Vaneycken and Jessica Schoffelen

This book is suggesting values for practicing art and design research by using participatory strategies. It showcases six key methods: intervention, play, performative mapping, modelling in dialogue and curating.

‘‘After the discovery of the shrub, the children show me other secret places that were previously unknown to me, an astonishing revelation for a daily user of the park who assumed to know the park inside out. The children also show me a hidden place with an unexpected large pit, only accessible via treacherous journey through stinging nettles.”
- Annelies Vaneycken
p. 74
Baltic Street Adventure Playground • Assemble • Glasgow, UK, 2014

This project is child-led, where the children affect the development of the site and themselves by the choices they make. Baltic Street exists to provide and sustain an alternative environment that enables the right to play in the fullest possible way, addressing the child as part of the community and supporting their physical, social, emotional and developmental well-being.

…by a free network of self-organisation and mutual responsibility amongst participants

Three Ellipses • Felice Varini • Cardiff Bay, UK • 2007

This project is a distorted projection over barrels in the Cardiff Bay. It can only be fully viewed from one point, otherwise hardly recognizable.

…by a method of negotiation between different stakeholders in the pursuit of a common goal

Mediating Meaning • Judith Seng • 4th Istanbul Design Biennial – „A School of Schools“, Pera Museum, Istanbul • 22.09. – 04.11.2018

This project was a temporary interactive installation that tried to create fluid values. By letting people freely move, using tools as extensions of their body to mix the different colour piles, a sort of silent exchange is created.

…by a platform for generation of collaborative rituals through physical interaction and negotiation of physical values

how might participation determine the outcome?

Urban Works Agency • California College of the Arts • San Francisco, USA • 2013

This project is a research lab that leverages architectural design to affect social justice, ecological vitality, and economic resilience. Shaping both the spaces and protocols of the built environment, from the scale of furniture to cities and territories at large, and across private practice, municipal agencies, and entrepreneurial ventures, UWA works with interdisciplinary partners to produce original research and design projects disseminated through books, exhibitions, and interactive media.

…by playful tools for decision-making, experienced in the form of a game


The Weather Project • Olafur Eliasson • Tate Modern, London • 2003


This project is an installation that uses artificial mist, a ceiling of mirrors and a semi-circular screen to create the illusion of an impressive indoor sunset.

…by a sensorial experience stimulating idiosyncratic user behaviour and empowering visitors as co-producers of the experience of the artwork

Thunberg, Greta, No One Is Too Small to

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference
Greta Thunberg
Penguin Books

This book is a collection of Thunberg’s speeches from climate rallies, a call to action and cry for help. Her words point out what is wrong with society and show us why we must wake up and fight to protect our planet. She highlights the urgency of the matter and why our future depends on the now.

‘‘A lot of people say that Sweden is a small country, that it doesn't matter what we do. But I think that if a few girls can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school for a few weeks, imagine what we could do together if we wanted to.’’
- Greta Thunberg
Ego vs Eco

This concept looks at the two different mindsets, the egocentric and the ecocentric. Ego means to rule over others. Eco means to be equal with each other. The former resulting in the anthropocene, the latter in sustainable practices.

…by an everyday attitude of organisation between human and non-human stakeholder

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Principles of Participation
Nina Simon

This concept is about designing participatory space in which visitors engage with each other through the content, promoting a social over personal approach to experience.

…by transformational stages from individuality towards collectivity

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case studies of nanotourism:


further aspects of participatory characteristics identified in the above case study:

Sharing of personal experiences

While taking part in the tour, participants hear about the local stories, therefore learn about the local context form the guide.

Sensorial experiences

At different circles along the path, participants are invited to carry out different sensorial experiences.

Co-creation of projects

Some of these activities involve physically changing the environment and leaving something behind that has impact on further experiences of others.


further aspects of participatory characteristics identified in the above case study:

Information exchange


Volunteers join the community and contribute according to their strenghts, skills and talents.

Sharing everyday life experiences


Volunteers’ and residences’ everyday lives merge through shared routines and activities.

Long lasting unique collaborations


Participants collaborate with residents on projects/activities that have an impact on future life sharing experiences.


further aspects of participatory characteristics identified in the above case study:

Contributing to BIO50 program


Contributors give theoretical input to the BIO50 program.

Project specific collaboration


Contributors work together on the project, collectively gather informations on the topic and exhibit postcards and videos.

Influence future experience


Creating new iterations of exhibition space and possibly rearranging existing items. Therefore influencing the experience of future visitors and hotel guests.

extracted patterns:


Exchange of contextually relevant information:


Project related collaboration: 


Participants openly exchange contextually relevant knowledge.

An act of subversion emerges as a reaction to the crisis, using the same language of conformist tourism.

Project co-creation:


The collaboration evolves into co-creation and stimulates future project iterations, that facilitate constant potential for new types of participatory activities to arise.

Exchange of contextually relevant information:


Project related collaboration: 


Participants openly exchange contextually relevant knowledge.

An act of subversion emerges as a reaction to the crisis, using the same language of conformist tourism.

Project co-creation:


The collaboration evolves into co-creation and stimulates future project iterations, that facilitate constant potential for new types of participatory activities to arise.