This paper draws the attention of impact-curious sociolegal researchers to the potential of participatory research strategies; and proposes that the effectiveness of those strategies can be enhanced by the introduction of ‘designerly ways’. It explores and evidences this proposition through the multi-country Facing All the Facts project which aimed to support and accelerate the process of making hate crime conceptually and empirically visible in Europe. The paper concludes that by pursuing the designerly strategy of making experiences, perceptions and expectations around hate crime reporting and recording visible and tangible in artefacts (formal graphics and collaborative prototypes), the project activities generated structured-yet-free spaces in which publics/stakeholders could more effectively participate in practical, critical and imaginative discussion about how things are, and how they might be; and that this has improved the relevance and rigour of the research, and its ability to generate meaningful change (‘impact’).

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