Towards a Political Design: Through Feminist Ways of Movement-Making
From the understanding that design is a complex force of political and cultural expression, I argue that in the design field we need to be with and learn from social movements, advancing collaboration between erudite and popular practices of creating and shaping worlds. In this essay, which is part of an ongoing doctoral research, I propose a reflection about doing-thinking from my experience as an educator-militant in a political organization of the Brazilian feminist movement. From this background, I seek to reimagine knowing-doings in design by means of principles systematized in popular education and feminist practices. Through these principles, I reflect on possibilities for a design that is able to build utopias subverting itself as a tool for exploitation and oppression.
popular education; feminist practices; design world-making; design theory
Bibiana Oliveira Serpa 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 an 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 experience in participatory projects and design for community emancipation in different locations in Latin America. Her research associates participatory design approaches to politicization actions within social movements and seeks to understand ways for an engaged design practice having as reference popular education and anti-racist and anti-capitalist feminism. She is co-editor of the International 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.