Living Lab, interrupted? Exploring new methods for postdigital exchange on WeChat with urban-rural Living Labs in China and Germany during COVID-19
This paper explores the possibilities of a two-phase postdigital ethnographic method for engaging with Living Labs in difficult-to-access physical fields. Our WeChat photo exchange group, ‘URA 照片分享群’, was prototyped through two experimentation rounds, in which participants of 3 Living Labs in China and Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic exchanged photos and insights about their everyday experiences. The approach was revealed to be an efficient tool to build rapport with field informants and gain impressions of local socio-spatial practices, while also challenged by trust-building, biases, and research ethics. We conclude with four design principles for future studies with participants in Living Labs where physical co-location is not possible.
Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science