By June 6, 2023 No Comments
26 June 2023 @ Polifactory

Overlooked: a journey from “design for social innovation” to “design, oppression and transformative justice”

Chiara Del Gaudio

6.00 PM (CEST)

@ Polifactory



My academic journey started by embracing Dominant Design discourses and their faith in the potential of Design to address current societal concerns. It has been only through the exploration and experimentation with mainstream design practices in different contexts, exogenous to them, and within different design cultures, that I redefined my expectations about Design. Those experiences unveiled power dynamics within, on, and through design processes and outcomes. They opened up the understanding and the investigation of how Design not only has the potential for the creation of new possibilities but also of how Design reduces possibilities of being and reinforces normativity. In this lecture, I will reflect on how and why as a designer that aims to promote a more inclusive, resilient, democratic, and sustainable society, I moved from a focus on Design for Social Innovation to a focus on the relationship between Design and oppression, and an interest in Design’s contribution towards Transformative Justice. 

Chiara Del Gaudio Bio

Chiara Del Gaudio is a designer, researcher and Associate Professor at Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design (Canada). Her work focuses on political design, power and conflict within design processes, participatory and collaborative design approaches and explores the possibilities for design processes for transformative justice and self-determination. She has been part of the Participatory Design Community since 2014, having edited special issues on Participatory Design and organized the Participatory Design Conference in 2020. Chiara’s writing has been published in CoDesign, The International Journal of Design, and Urban Design International, among other venues, as well as in edited collections.