Archive + Catalogue | Installation & Performance

The Library of Engagements is a collection of methods, techniques and tools used in Participatory Design with an aim to inspire citizens and designers to use engagement in the production of space. It is a collection of methods, techniques and tools used in participatory design. It is (for now) a physical archive and includes an index box, numerous archive folders and a selection of books. The archive folders have documents, photos and objects relating to examples of different methods which are catalogued in the index.

It is an attempt to catalogue different methods of engagement. It draws on performance art, local history and community asset building methods. And looks critically at who is involved in the decisions about cities and neighbourhoods and encourages the widening of that decision-making. Most of all the library is generous and connects to the individual participant to suggest methods they could use in their own community or neighbourhood.

Libraries are normally known for reading quietly where the only sounds are a book sliding from its place off the shelf or some hushed whispers between studious friends. This library is much louder - I want everyone to hear about Engagement activities, to get ideas, share stories and learn together.
The initial aim of the library was to enthuse more designers to use engagement activities in their work, and to involve many more people in the decisions about design projects – from building a small community building to a master-planning neighbourhoods of 1000 houses, but over time the library has evolved into an advocacy tool for citizen, designer, and community organiser alike.

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Project Details


Emily Crompton

Project Start Date


Research Outputs


Crompton, E., 2021. Conversations in the Library of Engagements, ENGAGE 20201 (un)conference, 11/10/2021 - 15/10/2021.

Crompton, E., Boelen, J., Zuljevic, M., 2018. The Politics of Design: Act 1, Z33, House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium, 22/8/2018 - 2/12/2018.


Crompton, E., 2018. 'Library of Engagements', Hasselt, Belgium, 21/8/2018.

Crompton, E., Brake, J., 2017. 'Library of Engagements', Tate Liverpool, 10/4/2017 - 24/4/2017.

Conference Papers

Crompton, E., 2019. 'Could Participatory Design Offer A Revolution To Architecture? Field Notes from a Situated Action in Hasselt, Belgium', International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) 2019: DESIGN REVOLUTIONS, Manchester, 2/9/2019 - 5/9/2019, in

Crompton, E., 2018. 'The library of engagements', 20/8/2018 - 24/8/2018, in, 2 (PDC 20), 4.

Project Staff

Emily Crompton
Emily Crompton Senior Lecturer View profile