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Can designers change systemic oppression?

This talk was part of the Royal College of Art Symposium on Design and Systemic Change, organized by Product Design students.

Abstract: Oppression is systemic as it is reproduced across social groups, generating complex patterns of domination. What can designers do to stop such reproduction? First, they need to acknowledge their role on the oppressor’s side, and then they may join the oppressed on the opposite side. Developing such critical consciousness requires understanding how multiple oppression intersect and transect.




Systemic diagrams used in this presentation


Gonzatto, R.F. and Van Amstel, F.M.C. (2022), “User oppression in human-computer interaction: a dialectical-existential perspective”, Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 74 No. 5, pp. 758-781.

Van Amstel, F. M., Noel, L.-A., & Gonzatto, R. F. (2022). Design, Oppression, and Liberation. Diseña, (21), Intro.

Lucy Pei, Edgard David Rincón Quijano, Angela D. R. Smith, Reem Talhouk, and Frederick van Amstel. 2022. Assets and community engagement: a roundtable with HCI researchers and designers. interactions 29, 5 (September – October 2022), 44–47.

Categories: Talks & Lectures.

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