Systemic design practitioners, educators, and researchers are calling for design strategies that seek to scale systems change efforts through more participatory and transdisciplinary design and assessment practices. This paper responds to this call through a case study analysis of the Power and Place Collaborative. The Collaborative is a community-first, equity-centered, emergent, and situated educational approach to designing complex social systems change. Beginning in 2018 and formalized in the summer of 2020, the Collaborative has worked to catalyze, sustain, and scale social change through emergent design interventions that began with the recording, preserving, and presenting untold stories from across the local community. Initial collaborative efforts have led to community oral histories and digital stories, new cross-institutional programs and curricula, visual and multimedia mapping, public screenings, community, government, and educational workshops, art exhibits, walking tours, community dialogues, social media campaigns, open access, online archival platforms, and more. The design of this collaborative, its practices, and some initial mixed methods research findings are documented, highlighting the value of emergent, community-first transdisciplinary practices and relational, place-based immersion for fostering systems changes that scale deep and scree.
Keywords: scree-scaling, deep-scaling, power and place, place-based education, transdisciplinarity, participatory design, community-first