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Alberto Soriano, Josina Vink, and Shivani Prakash

with panellists Shana Agid, Ahmed Ansari, Melanie Goodchild, and Frederick van Amstel

Taking a systemic view of systemic design itself, we understand that systemic design is not separate from, but rather a part of, the fabric of oppression in society. If we fail to acknowledge this, the systemic design community will continue to unwittingly reproduce oppressive dynamics. This two-part dialogue series brought diverse perspectives together for a reflective exploration into systemic design’s role in perpetuating oppression. The first session was an online panel with invited international guests to critically reflect on the ways in which systemic design is complicit in reproducing oppression. The second session was an in-person fishbowl dialogue with leaders and contributors to RSD11 grappling with if and how the systemic design community can confront legacies of oppression and work toward liberatory aims.

Purpose

The aim of this dialogue series was to build a collective awareness of divergent realities related to issues of oppression in, with and through systemic design. Through dialogue, we aim to build a shared, but not unified understanding, of the ways that systemic design is implicated in structural discrimination and support early exploration into how the systemic design community can responsibly resist and dismantle oppression.

Session 1

RSDX panellists and participants critically reflected on the ways in which systemic design is complicit in reproducing oppression.

Discussion

  • What is the systemic nature of oppression, and how does it manifest?
  • In what ways is oppression reproduced in systemic design?

Session 2

In this session, held at RSD11, the in-person fishbowl dialogue grapples with if–and how–the systemic design community can confront legacies of oppression and work toward liberatory aims.

The session begins with participants in the outer circle listening to the people in the inner circle as they start the dialogue. Then the dialogue moves to the outer circle for a second round of perspectives. Finally, the dialogue will be opened up for all to discuss their reflections and thoughts regarding if and how the systemic design community can work towards liberation.

Discussion

  • What are the implications and experiences of oppression in systemic design locally?
  • What does understanding the legacies of oppression demand of the systemic design community
  • Can the systemic design community work towards liberation? If so, how?

Keywords: legacies, systemic oppression, dialogue

Shana Agid

Ahmed Ansari

Melanie Goodchild

Frederick van Amstel

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Citation Data

Author(s): Alberto Soriano, Josina Vink, and Shivani Prakash
Year: 2022
Title: Confronting Legacies of Oppression in Systemic Design
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 012
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/confronting-legacies-of-oppression-in-systemic-design
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 18 October 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404