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?
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/
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.