The 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and collective action by the student of RISD pushed the school to take its stance on social justice more seriously. In our office, I have been advocating for an audit of our processes and an implementation of anti-racist practices. This has led our team to have weekly conversations about race and justice and how our work can embody those ideas. As a susequent phase, I advocated for the creation of a small research group within the team around frameworks such as Design Justice. We will be reading Sasha Costanza-Chock’s book of the same name and other related resources, and then rethinking and redefining our processes, our work and our team values. A few key questions I am proposing to the team are: What are our team values? How do they relate to the school’s values? What are the values of the art and design industries we represent? What are the tensions and conflicts we can foresee? What can we implement from the Design Justice framework? What can we not implement and more importantly, why can’t we implement those things? Can we prototype structures and processes that could be scaled up to the institutional level?
Below are a few screenshots from meetings and conversations we have been engaging in.