Design ♥ Democracy
The political developments of the past year have left us all reeling. We live in a different world where we don't have the luxury of giving some things for granted anymore. Sharing many cups of coffee with designers from all paths of life I could sense the same feeling of urgency mixed with despair.
Yet, I think that there is room for hope. I believe Democratic values are intrinsically associated with user-centered thinking. This connection can be felt and smelt on events, jams, and meetups all around the world. Traditional political involvement has been elusive to many in my generation yet that does not mean that we are not troubled by what happens around us. It truly is inspiring to see the reception to initiatives such as this one, and I think it is a proof that political commitment as design practitioners is not just needed but welcomed by the design community itself.
Empathy is a core aspect of being a designer and it is crucial to creating a more just, open, and democratic society for everybody. We are bridgebuilders, we are catalyzers, we are facilitators. We want to shape a better future and for that, we now need to stand up for democracy.
Pablo Fernandez Vallejo
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fields of Action
It sets a stage on which diverse actors can come together and democratically collaborate in shaping their present and future world. It engages diverse people and publics in co-design and co-production processes concerning different aspects of their everyday life.
It refers to all the design initiatives that are particularly responsive to the goals of democracy. It may deal with the provision of basic human rights (such as access to food, shelter, health care, and education) and, more in general, with the transition towards a more resilient, fair and sustainable society.
It addresses the structural elements that function as frames and regulators of human action in a democratic system. It focuses on institutions (such as: branches of government, agencies, bureaus, courts, and offices) and procedures (such as: laws, regulations, rules, and protocols).