Insurgent Design Coalitions: the history of the Design & Oppression network
Frederick M.C. van Amstel (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor of Service Design and Experience Design at the Industrial Design Academic Department (DADIN), Federal University of Technology – Paraná (UTFPR), Brazil. His PhD thesis, accepted by the University of Twente, maps the contradictions faced by architectural design and service design in contemporary practice. His recent research deals with the contradiction of oppression and the possibility of designing for liberation through decolonizing and hybridizing design. Together with several people, he founded Faber-Ludens (2007-2012) — the first Brazilian Interaction Design Insitute, Corais Platform (2011) — a free software suite for self-organized collective, and Design & Oppression (2020) — a network of solidarity across different fights and struggles in design.
Sâmia Batista (she/her/hers) is a designer and professor at a public university in northern Brazil (UFPA). She is a PhD candidate in Design at ESDI/UERJ and co-founder of the Design and Oppression network. She started her career in advertising due to the lack of design courses in her hometown, Belém-Pará. She took a post-graduation course in Design in São Paulo and, back to her hometown, she started working with design for sustainability, fostering partnerships between big companies and community groups. In these partnerships, she developed a participatory design approach to strengthen associationism and cooperaSvism within the communiSes. She earned a Master’s degree in Communication, Languages and Culture while researching mediation processes between designers and traditional communities in Amazônia. Her PhD research seeks to understand how design can contribute to the development of autonomy processes within cultural collectives that fight against social inequality in Brazil. This year she will also graduate as a popular educator from Unipop – Popular University Insitute, in Belém.
Bibiana Oliveira Serpa (she/her/hers) is a PhD candidate in Design at ESDI/UERJ and a co-founder of the Design and Oppression Network. She is a small-town girl from the rural interior of southern Brazil, who always felt out of place in the conservative environment where she grew up. Since college, she has participated in political organizations of the student movement and, currently, she is a feminist militant and a social educator at the Universidade Livre Feminista, a popular education initiative focused on promoting political education among women belonging to social movements in Brazil. She has vast experience in developing participatory projects in different locations in Latin America, which includes design for community emancipation and other approaches. Her research brings participatory design closer to politicization actions within social movements to realize new pathways for engaged design practices based on popular education, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist feminism. She is also co-editor of the Internacional Journal of Engineering, Social Justice and Peace, an interdisciplinary project that seeks, through multiple languages, to disseminate scientific reflections informed by practices within popular technology movements.
Marco Mazzarotto (he/him/his) is a professor at the Federal University of Technology Paraná (UTFPR) and a designer at the Latin-American community development NGO Teto. As a co-founder of the Design and Oppression network, he believes that design cannot take a neutral stance towards systems of oppression. Based on Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy, he seeks dialogical, critical and participatory strategies that can help to overcome oppression in design, whether in the university classroom or in precarious communiSes and favelas attended by the NGO Teto.
Ricardo Artur Carvalho (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor at the School of Industrial Design (Esdi/UERJ). He holds a Bachelor, a Master, and a PhD degree in Design from PUC-Rio. At Esdi/UERJ, he coordinates DesEduca Lab (Design and Education Lab), where he researches Design, Culture and Education relations with emphasis on design education and the dimension of discourses and practices. He also coordinates the outreach project “Praxicracia: design, collaboration and autonomy” and is a co-founder of the Design and Oppression Network. His current interests fall between pedagogical practices, languages and discourses, classroom spaces, teaching materials, new technologies, and social and technological interactions.
Rodrigo Freese Gonzatto (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor at the Polytechnic School, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR), Brazil. His research deals with relations of freedom and oppression in the social production of existence through digital technologies, mainly through the lens of an Interaction Design theory grounded on the STS studies of Álvaro Vieira Pinto and Paulo Freire. His PhD thesis recovers critical perspectives of the “user” concept in Human-Computer Interaction, analyzing how users were underdeveloped, historically despecialized and removed from privileged design spaces. Rodrigo is a co-founder of Corais Platform (2011) — a free software suite and design livre platform for self-organized collectives, Rede Álvaro Vieira Pinto (2015) — a research community centered around the work and ideas of the Brazilian philosopher who inspired Paulo Freire and others, and Design & Oppression (2020) — a network of solidarity against the oppressions that manifest through the design.