Focus: Confronting legacies of oppression
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Confronting legacies of oppression in systemic design

Systemic design is often complicit in the reproduction of oppression, contributing to structural inequities being designed into our systems. A growing group of scholars and practitioners are confronting legacies of oppression in this domain, such as through explorations into decolonizing systems thinking (Goodchild, 2021), and abolitionist design (Fathallah & Lewis, 2021), and design justice (Costanza-Chock, 2020). To grapple with the systemic nature of oppression, a greater commitment to equity, self-determination and liberation in, through and beyond systemic design is needed.

This focus invites contributions exploring any of the following questions or related points of inquiry:

  • How is oppression enacted in systemic design theory and/or practice?
  • What relevant thinking and doing related to systemic design can aid in confronting the systemic nature of oppression and inform a more equitable approach?
  • What does a liberatory approach to systemic design mean in practice?
  • What is needed for systemic design to meaningfully reduce structural inequalities in the outcomes of our social systems?

Indicative references

Goodchild, M. (2021). Relational systems thinking: That’s how change is going to come, from our Earth mother. Journal of Awareness-Based Systems Change, 1(1), 75-103.

Costanza-Chock, S. (2020). Design justice: Community-led practices to build the worlds we need. MIT Press.

Fathallah, S. and Lewis, A. D. S. (2021). Abolish the cop inside your (designer’s) head. Design Museum Magazine, (018). https://designmuseumfoundation.org/abolish-the-cop-inside-your-designers-head/ 

Jacobs, J. and Carey, H. (2021). Designing against oppression: A conceptual framework for an anti-oppressive design praxis. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD10) 2021 Symposium. https://rsdsymposium.org/designing-against-oppression-a-conceptual-framework-for-an-anti-oppressive-design-praxis/ 

Special thanks

Thanks to those who have proposed and developed the focuses: Gareth Owen Lloyd, Christopher Daniel, Dulmini Perera, Sally Sutherland, Ben Sweeting, James Tooze, Jeffrey P. Turko, and Josina Vink.

Posted April 2022
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Call for Papers

Submit your paper or presentation via EasyChair

Please use the RSD11 template

NOW OPEN

DEADLINES
Papers: June 16, 2022
Presentations: June 30, 2022

RSD11 INFO

RSD11 Call for Contributions

RSD11 Call for Contributions

Now open. RSD11 Call for contributions that challenge, extend, critique, and diversify established working methods in systemic design.

Preparing an RSD submission

Preparing an RSD submission

This article invites you to follow the RSD posting protocols and provides a detailed description of the basics to consider when preparing your submission.

Contributions to RSD11 focus sessions

Contributions to RSD11 focus sessions

Authors are invited to identify their paper or presentation as aligned to one of seven specific focus sessions. These have been developed as provocations for critical reflection, new topics, and different directions.

Focus: Design over time

Focus: Design over time

Designers must navigate between the need for immediate action and maintaining long-term change. Yet, it is difficult to think of the temporality of design beyond the consideration of years or decades.

Focus: Products are systemic objects

Focus: Products are systemic objects

In this focus, RSD11 is interested in contributions exploring: circular design, regenerative design, distributed design, and, more broadly, ways that designers of things act to shape the nature and legibility of economic, bureaucratic, ecological and cultural systems.

Focus: Architecture gone wild?

Focus: Architecture gone wild?

Now that the architecture discipline seems to be arriving at a period of digital sobriety in its modes of practice and generative methods, critical perspectives are needed.

Focus: Radical shifts in planetary health

Focus: Radical shifts in planetary health

Attending to health means fundamentally rethinking where (our) health comes from. The importance of considering global health and human health as intersecting is increasingly pressing.

Focus: Different stories in design

Focus: Different stories in design

How may we use Bateson’s provocations to rethink the problematic stories around design and modernity as mobilised in contemporary design practices?

Focus: Methods and the worlds they make

Focus: Methods and the worlds they make

Methods afford and perpetuate ways of understanding and organising the world much like any other artefact. Because conventions are assumed within the context of a methodological practice, they are difficult to question from within.

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