DESIGNING AND INNOVATING FOR COMMUNITY IN THE TIME OF CRISIS
University of Washington Tacoma (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The design justice framework seeks to center the voices of minority groups usually excluded from the design process. With the break of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, health mandates that have swept across nations, have simultaneously posed barriers in access to critical services for underrepresented groups. The shift to remote work and the implementation of safe distance policies have disenfranchised the most vulnerable populations who have hitherto relied on in-person disbursement of services. Added to this, racial strife in urban centers in the United States enhanced by the deaths of George Floyd and other black people at the hands of police brutality has led to declining public trust in authorities and institutions. This paper uses the design justice framework tp present three community projects undertaken by the Global Innovation and Design Lab at the University of Washington Tacoma. It uses the design justice framework which involves a holistic view of context and takes into account users' multiple identity positions across race, gender, and class, to name a few primary positions. Each project involved the co-design of innovative solutions for minority communities to a) access critical resources as financial advising and affordable housing and b) create better systems within service-providing units so that the voices of the populations served were at the heart of policies and services. The projects affirmed the need for participatory design methodologies. The paper concludes with considerations and further provocations for co-design, especially as dual crises of pandemic and racial injustice have irreversibly shifted how communities come together.
Keywords: Design thinking, crisis innovations, design justice, participatory action research, grassroots communication, value sensitive design