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Wicked rituals of contemporary design thinking

Saito, Carmem; Van Amstel, Frederick M. C.; Serpa, Bibiana O; Angelon, Rafaela. Wicked rituals of contemporary design thinking. (2023). In: Mehl, Johanna and Höfler, Carolin (Eds). Attending [to] Futures. Matters of Politics in Design Education, Research, Practice. Hamburg: Adocs. p. 150-161.

Abstract: Contemporary design thinking discourse claims to be able to tame the wicked problems of society through an apt methodology. By denying its own wickedness, design thinking covers up the oppressive rituals and gestures that materialize conservative ideologies on gender, class, and race. Through a Forum Theatre play staged during the Attending [to] Futures conference, the authors made these rituals and gestures visible and open for debate. Characters inspired by the musical Wicked served as allegories for different design thinking agents who perform these rituals and gestures in consultancy work, international cooperations, and academia. By analyzing selected scenes from the recorded play based on the Theatre of the Oppressed hermeneutics, this chapter draws attention to everyday interactions that codify sexism, colonialism, and capitalist exploitation in design work.

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