Lecture: Ali Place
Designers have the power to include or exclude entire communities of people, to inform or manipulate those who seek help, and to serve or disparage vulnerable populations. They have a moral responsibility to wield this power ethically and intelligently in order to improve the lived experiences of real people and to effect positive societal change. From discriminatory research methods to design solutions that ignore marginalized experiences, there is an urgent need for designers to critically examine their role in upholding systems of oppression and to construct new methods for equitable and inclusive design. In other words, designers should be feminists. In the feminist spirit of challenging the status quo, feminist design questions existing ways of knowing and doing and establishes a new model for equity-centered design.
Ali Place is an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas.