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Feminist Designer: On the Personal and the Political in Design

Feminist Designer: On the Personal and the Political in Design

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Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Publisher:
The MIT Press
ISBN:
9780262048422
Pages:
264
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Description

A bold and timely collection that brings feminist theory and critical thinking to life through vital, approachable design methods and practices.

Feminist Designer brings together a constellation of voices and perspectives to examine the intersection of design and feminist theory. For decades, the feminist refrain within design has hinged on the representation and inclusion of women in the field. This collection, edited by Alison Place, however, is a call to move beyond this narrow application. Feminist design is not just about who does design—it is about how we do design and why. Feminist frameworks for design activism are now more relevant than ever, as they emphasize collaborative processes that aim to disrupt and dismantle power hierarchies while centering feminist ways of knowing and doing. 

The first book in nearly three decades to address such practices in design, Feminist Designer contains essays, case studies, and dialogues by 43 contributors from 16 different countries. It engages a wide variety of design disciplines, from graphic design to disability design to algorithmic design, and explores key feminist themes, such as power, knowledge, care, plurality, liberation, and community. Through diverse, sometimes conflicting, intersectional perspectives, this book contributes new design methods informed by a multiplicity of feminisms that confront design’s patriarchal origins while ushering in new pathways for making critical and meaningful change.

Contributors
Jennifer Armbrust, Dina Benbrahim, Madeline Avram Blount, Elizabeth Byrd, Benedetta Crippa, Alexandra Crosby, Laura Devendorf, Rachael Dietkus, Ashley K. Eberhart, Griselda Flesler, Aimi Hamraie, Gaby Hernández, Alexis Hope, Jeff Kasper, Ellen Kellogg, Aasawari Kulkarni, Eden Laurin, Una Lee, Andrew Mallinson, Claudia Marina, Victor G. Martinez, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Margaret Middleton, Maryam Mustafa, Becky Nasadowski, Maya Ober, Nina Paim, Elizabeth Pérez, Heather Snyder Quinn, Cami Rincón, Jenn Roberts, Velvet A. Johnson Ross, In-ah Shin, Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard, Ayako Takase, Attia Taylor, Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Aggie Toppins, Ilaria Vanni, Joana Varon, Manon Vergerio, Mandy Harris Williams, Sarah Williams

About the Author

Alison Place is a designer, educator, and researcher who practices feminism through design. She is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the School of Art at the University of Arkansas.

Praise for Feminist Designer: On the Personal and the Political in Design

Included in Fast Company's "5 essential design books to read this fall"

"What is the relationship between feminist theory and design practice? This is the question that frames the essays, conversations, and case studies that designer and educator Alison Place has put together here. Moving beyond narrow questions of representation and inclusion, Feminist Designer instead asks how we design and why. In a work of theory that is also accessible, Place and her contributors make the case that feminist theory—and feminism more generally—provides an opportunity to interrogate the role of power, knowledge, care, community, and more in the designed systems and artifacts that surround us."
Fast Company

"The book looks at all these mediations through a feminist lens, asking that designers, and anyone engaged with design (which is all of us) be alert to the implicit bias in our designed world, and its entanglement in power structures and oppressive systems. The book, which includes work from 43 contributors across 16 countries, answers how to make design socially beneficial, looking at graphic, interior, exhibition, AI, product, disability, and design education, demanding an examination of the ways designed objects and systems reinforce or undermine oppression. The book is divided into six thematic chapters: power, knowledge, care, plurality, liberation, and community."
The Boston Globe

“This book will be an invaluable resource for design educators and practitioners, challenging what we thought we knew while opening new possibilities for being and designing”
—Metropolis