Design Solidarity

Structural interventions from spaces outside of design (socio-economics, political theory, community, psychology) to address current themes in design discourse (meaning, ethics, justice, sustainability, financial security)

These are some essays in progress trying to put words around a proposed shift for design. The call is to move from an elite neoliberal post-modern cultural orientation to a radical populist orientation. As such, it aims to meet the needs for anyone who identifies as a designer, wherever they’re at. It does not predict or proclaim one true dogma, style, skillset, focus or training that’s needed for the future, but a larger context that leads to more autonomy for all, with particular relevance to the hacker class.

To figure out how this manifests, I also explore how to shift professional design practice (UX specifically) towards more equitable, regenerative futures.

More specific resources for practitioners and users is on another blog I work on: Possible Futures.

  • A history of design

    The history and contexts for the mainstream practice of design put it at odds with ethics. Designers have had little historic relation to social good and are often perceived to be in opposition to it with their strong connection to advertising and stereotypical air of elitism. Designers were specifically not artists or craftspeople or DIYers. …

  • Using Our Words

    trying to get clarity in conversations about ethics and power

  • Why This?

    Having scoured work on ethical or sustainable design for the past 20+ years, I’ve found the vast majority unhelpful. For someone who happens to be into work and looking for meaning and purpose, I’ve gone from inspired to disillusioned to resigned. Many essays and publications in this space are often some mix of…

  • UX Ethics. Yeah, Yeah — so how do we get there?

    Ethics has emerged as a common discussion topic and concern for user experience practitioners. It makes sense. As technology has gotten more advanced over the past decade with massive platform infrastructures in place and growing implementations of AI/ML, technologies have grown very powerful. The pressure to grow profits is relentless. Competition between products is fierce. …

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