User participation in design is no longer a fringe activity. Industry, the public sector and academia alike have begun to see users and citizens as important actors in various development activities. Reflecting this change, the current project seeks to bring about an international shift in the research orientation on collaborative design by moving from development of methods, procedures and methodologies to researching the factual deployment of collaborative design in real life projects. The project examines how user and citizen engagements get done in 21st century. It consist of six ethnographic case studies and their comparison to gain an in-depth open-ended view on both the mundane routine work of user engagement as well as the strategic aspects of user collaboration. Further conceptual work is included. The main theoretical and methodological resources for analysis are drawn from symbolic interactionist science and technology studies.