Designing Against Oppression: A conceptual framework for an anti-oppressive design praxis

Jessica Jacobs and Hillary Carey

Design is often complicit in upholding inequitable structures, allowing bias and oppression to go unchallenged. While there has been substantial progress in challenging the agnostic orientations of design, many still ask, “How do I apply this to my work as a professional?” We seek to address this gap by offering a systematic description of five activity nodes that can inform and transform design practice. This paper connects critical theories to professional design practice by offering a framework for anti-oppressive design praxis. The resulting conceptual model—a scaffolding for bringing a critical awareness of power into design methods—can support designers to take action in their daily design work.

Keywords: design justice, design theory, equity, systems design, political economy

Posted September 2021

©­ Author, published by the Systemic Design Association

Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD#) Symposium.