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Systemic oppression and systemic design

Álvaro Vieira Pinto, Paulo Freire, and Augusto Boal developed a systemic perspective on oppression based on Frantz Fanon. This perspective frames oppression as a contradiction that builds tension between different social groups. Systemic design can reproduce this contradiction unconsciously or let the oppressed see and recognize their oppressor. This short commentary pushes for a critical approach to dealing with systemic oppression in and through design.

This short talk was part of the panel “Confronting Legacies of Oppression in Systemic Design“, RSDX-RSD11.




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

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., Sâmia, B., Serpa, B.O., Marco, M., Carvalho, R.A.,and Gonzatto, R.F.(2021) Insurgent Design Coalitions: The history of the Design & Oppression network, in Leitão, R.M., Men, I., Noel, L-A., Lima, J., Meninato, T. (eds.), Pivot 2021: Dismantling/Reassembling, 22-23 July, Toronto, Canada.

Gonzatto, R. F., & van Amstel, F. M. (2017, October). Designing oppressive and libertarian interactions with the conscious body. In Proceedings of the XVI Brazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 22, 10 pages. DOI:

Categories: Talks & Lectures.

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