Author: Palak Dudani
This paper explores how despite progressive egalitarian policies, systems can have inherent power dynamics that gravitate towards systemic inequities. By applying systems oriented design (SOD) tools and methodologies to the topic of urban gentrification in Norwegian context, this study done with a systemic lens reveals the invisible power dynamics embedded within the Norwegian housing system which seem to favour one segment of citizens over others. When the urban context (within which such a biased system exists) undergoes gentrification, the negative consequences can be much more damaging than anticipated. This study finds patterns of disparity arise in terms of access and agency between two schematic groups, native Norwegians and immigrants, where inequities are then transferred over generations, with long term impact suggesting a poverty trap across ethnic lines. The paper highlights how systems oriented design and its approaches can be used to uncover the otherwise invisible undercurrents existing within our urban systems. A design response is conceptualised in order to critically reflect on the limitations and challenges of this approach and the evolving role of the designer.