5.4 Discussion Activities (20 minutes each)

The following discussion activities are prepared by Open Education Instructional Designer Veronica Vold to support individual or group study with the presentation video recording. These activities are intended to encourage reflection, analysis, and application of key takeaways.

Discussion Activity 1 Design Justice as Mode of Analysis

Sasha introduces design justice is a framework for analysis that asks: how does design distribute benefits and burdens between various groups of people?
Sasha is explicitly focused on how design reproduces and/or challenges the matrix of domination, a conceptual model in Black Feminist Thought for thinking about simultaneous and intersecting identities that mutually constitute one another and shape our lives.

  • As you reflect on the idea that we all carry identities that bring both benefits and harms, or penalties and privileges, what stands out to you about this model of design? How is it different from other design models you’ve encountered?
  • The 10 Design Justice Principles are rooted in the matrix of domination. As you review the principles below, consider: which principles seem most challenging or uncomfortable for you? Why do you think this is the case?
  1. We use design to sustain, heal, and empower our communities, as well as to seek liberation from exploitative and oppressive systems.
  2. We center the voices of those who are directly impacted by the outcomes of the design process.
  3. We prioritize design’s impact on the community over the intentions of the designer.
  4. We view change as emergent from an accountable, accessible, and collaborative process, rather than as a point at the end of a process.
  5. We see the role of the designer as a facilitator rather than an expert.
  6. We believe that everyone is an expert based on their own lived experience, and that we all have unique and brilliant contributions to bring to a design process.
  7. We share design knowledge and tools with our communities.
  8. We work towards sustainable, community-led and -controlled outcomes.
  9. We work towards non-exploitative solutions that reconnect us to the earth and to each other
  10. Before seeking new design solutions, we look for what is already working at the community level. We honor and uplift traditional, indigenous, diasporic, and local knowledge and practices.

Discussion Activity 2: Designing for Just Futures

Sasha challenges participants to imagine futures where people have successfully designed for justice. Consider each reflection question from your own campus context and personal goals.

  • It is 2050. Education as a whole is oriented to a design justice approach. How did everyone get here?
  • It is 2222. Everyone’s needs are met. Open Educational Resources have played an important role in the just transition to a regenerative global economy and culture. What were some key events that led to this point?
  • What surprised you about this activity? What do you think might change if you were to repeat it in three months or a year?

Licenses and Attributions

“Discussion Activity 1: Design Justice as Mode of Analysis” + “Discussion Activity 2: Designing for Just Futures” are adapted by Veronica Vold from “Design Justice and Design Pedagogies” by Sasha Costanza-Chock and is licensed CC BY-NC.


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Designing for Justice: An Open Education Speaker Series Copyright © by Veronica Vold is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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