In this talk, I’ll share my new book, Design as Democratic Inquiry. This book discusses a series of projects grounded in collaborations with communities and institutions. In these collaborations, I explore the potentials and limitations of design to participate in democracy through what I call design experiments in civics. In particular, I explore how, as engaged designers, we might contribute to the work of communities and institutions who explore alternative civic imaginaries, which keep our democracies vibrant. This requires rethinking the stories we tell about design, how we practice design, and how we theorize design. Rather than repeating the heroic tales of innovation, I argue for embracing design as fragile, contingent, partial, and compromised: designing becomes a way to care for our collective futures together.
Carl DiSalvo is an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His work explores the political qualities of contemporary design, and he is particularly interested in participatory and critical approaches to making and using technology. He is the author of Design as Democratic Inquiry and Adversarial Design, co-editor of Participatory Design for Learning, and an editor of the journal Design Issues.
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