Design Justice - Book


Reboot Summary

  • Design justice also focuses on the ==design of systems==
  • Design justice rethinks design processes, centers people who are normally marginalized by design, and uses collaborative, creative practices to address the deepest challenges our communities face.

Design Education

  • Rather than teaching rules, design education should prompt students to ==investigate== where problems stem from and how to ==solve== them inclusively
  • radical educator Paulo Freire
  • Freire writes, “the goal of education is to transform oppressed individuals into subjects who engage in collective action to transform their conditions of oppression.”
  • ==education lives within a system of domination and liberation==; each participant should think, question, and act to identify the causes of the problems within that system.
  • Designers should keep the following principles in mind: change emerges over time from a collaborative process, rather than appearing out of thin air at the end; we should facilitate change without presuming to be the expert; everyone in the design process should share their perspectives; and most importantly, we should finding out what’s already working and uplift those systems.

On Learning and Building

  • quote about constructionism: “Learning is a reconstruction, rather than a transmission of knowledge.”
  • although it is beautiful to think about how nothing is truly done, learnt or built alone, we must always consider who and what we are (re)constructing with.
  • If learning is a reconstruction of knowledge, then everything we learn reflects the learnings of the people we’re told to listen to unless we choose to do otherwise.
  • By seeking out diverse voices and learning together, we can build shared consciousness and better understand the world and the predicaments that plague us.

Book Highlights

Chapter 5

“Critical pedagogy seeks to transform consciousness, to provide students with ways of knowing that enable them to know themselves better and live in the world more fully. —bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress”

“I insist that the object of all true education is not to make people carpenters, it is to make carpenters people. —W. E. B. Du Bois, The Talented Tenth”

approaches communities not as (solely) consumers, test subjects, “test beds,” or objects of study, but instead imagines them as co-designers and coauthors of shared knowledge, technologies, narratives, and social practices

“pedagogies of design justice must be based firmly upon the broader approach known as popular education (educación popular, in Spanish), or pop ed, as it is often called by practitioners in the United States.”

“banking model of education, in which an educator, positioned as the expert, attempts to deposit knowledge in the mind of their students.”

“he encourages critical pedagogy, where the role of the educator is to pose problems, create spaces for the collective development of critical consciousness, help to develop plans for action to make the world a better place, and develop a sense of agency among learners.”

“Freire focuses on developing critical thought together with action, in a cycle he refers to as praxis, a Greek term originally referring to “practical knowledge for action.”7 Freire defines it as “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.”

“the goal of education is to transform oppressed individuals into subjects who engage in collective action to transform their conditions of oppression.”

Key Principles of Pop Ed:

  1. Education is never neutral
  2. Relevance
  3. Problem-posing
  4. Dialogue
  5. Praxis
  6. Transformation

“Instead of being used as a tool to divide and conquer, we believe technology must be taken back by the people and used as a tool of liberation.”

“critical community technology pedagogy, an approach that “demystifies systemic power inequalities, involves a multi-directional learning process, results in transferable skills, and constructs a new world as it constructs knowledge.”

“constructionism. Although not explicit about race, class, gender, or disability politics, this is a pedagogical approach that centers context, situated knowledge, and learning by doing.”

“for Piaget, learning is experiential: it takes place through an active process where the learner develops the ability to modify or transform an object or idea.”

“constructionism’s two central concepts: first, that learning is a reconstruction, rather than a transmission, of knowledge; second, that “learning is most effective when part of an activity the learner experiences as constructing a meaningful product.”

“teachers act as facilitators to help students achieve their own learning goals using problem-based learning.”

“Problem-based learning works best when problems are part of larger, ideally real-world tasks; learners are supported to take ownership of the problem; the task is appropriate to the learner’s level of understanding and ability; the learner must reflect on what is being learned and how they learned it; and the educator encourages the learner to test their ideas in various contexts.”

“We need to expand the notion of ‘digital fluency’ to include designing and creating, not just browsing and interacting.”

“technological fluency, or young people’s ability to fully incorporate computers and digital technology into their own creative practices.”

“From this experience, Resnick describes four principles for technology educators: support learning through design experiences, help youth build upon their own interests, cultivate “emergent community,” and create an environment of respect and trust.”

“Resnick summarizes the core of constructionism in the following two principles: first, “people do not get ideas, they make them.” Second, “people construct new knowledge with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful products.”

“Decolonizing design involves decentering Western approaches to design pedagogy, while centering design approaches, histories, theories, and practices rooted in indigenous communities.”

“design is no less than the conception and planning of the artificial world. Its products include objects, processes, systems, and environments; in short, everything.”

“Educators, hooks argues, must recognize ourselves as embodied subjects in the classroom, rather than pretend that we speak from a disembodied place.”

Design Justice Network Principles

  1. “We Use Design to Sustain, Heal, and Empower Our Communities, as Well as to Seek Liberation from Exploitative and Oppressive Systems”
  2. “We Center the Voices of Those Who Are Directly Impacted by the Outcomes of the Design Process”
  3. “We Prioritize Design’s Impact on the Community Over the Intentions of the Designer”
  4. “We View Change as Emergent from an Accountable, Accessible, and Collaborative Process, Rather than as a Point at the End of a Process”
  5. “We See the Role of the Designer as a Facilitator Rather than an Expert”
  6. “We Believe that Everyone Is an Expert Based on Their Own Lived Experience and that We All Have Unique and Brilliant Contributions to Bring to a Design Process”
  7. “We Share Design Knowledge and Tools with Our Communities”
  8. “We Work toward Sustainable, Community-Led, and Controlled Outcomes”
  9. “We Work toward Nonexploitative Solutions that Reconnect Us to the Earth and to Each Other”
  10. “Before Seeking New Design Solutions, We Look for What Is Already Working at the Community Level, and We Honor and Uplift Traditional, Indigenous, and Local Knowledge and Practices”

“Learning to Code as Liberatory World-Making, or ==Workplace Preparedness under Neoliberal Technoculture==?”

“Teaching people how to code is increasingly presented as a key goal—perhaps the key goal—for the education system under ==late-stage informational capitalism==.”

“At the same time, as sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom documents in her book Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, for-profit universities that promise to teach coding skills and secure jobs for their graduates proliferate both on and offline.93 Many of the most visible for-profit coding schools and boot camps are ==expensive, inaccessible, and have dubious placement outcomes.==94”

“digital learning among young people remains ==structured== by race, class, and gender.”

“In a recent study of digital learning, education researchers Mimi Ito and Justin Reich find that, in many cases, digital learning technologies such as MOOCs and online courses, in-school computing classes, and other interventions ==actually exacerbate inequalities in learning outcomes== between low-income and wealthier students, between students of color and white students, and between male and female students. In addition, they note that the use of digital technology in education often ==unintentionally reproduces inequality==, in large part due to “institutionalized and unconscious bias and social distance between developers and those they seek to serve.”

“learning to code is increasingly taught in ways that emphasize diversity, creativity, and critical thinking.”

“Is the ultimate object to make people good coders, or to make coders good people?”

“design pedagogies that promote critical thinking are not incompatible with the development of practical design skills.”

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