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Racism Untaught: Revealing and Unlearning Racialized Design

Racism Untaught: Revealing and Unlearning Racialized Design

Current price: $26.95
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Publisher:
The MIT Press
ISBN:
9780262048583
Pages:
256
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Description

A powerful and proven guidebook that shows organizations how to recognize racism in designed artifacts, systems, and experiences—and how to replace them with anti-racist design solutions.

Anti-racist design interventions can be difficult. Well-intentioned conversations can fuel tensions, activate racialized trauma, and lead to misunderstandings, especially in spaces not typically focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Even when progress is made, white supremacy culture can resurface. We need anti-racist guidelines and approaches that lay bare racialized systems of oppression and fundamentally disrupt their replication. In Racism Untaught, Lisa E. Mercer and Terresa Moses, two veteran anti-racist educators, deliver this exact approach.

Mercer and Moses provide a step-by-step guide to anti-racist interventions in academic, business, and community settings that benefits all participants. Adapted from their successful workshop series and filled with concrete examples and ample case studies, their book teaches participants how to analyze design—and reimagine racialized artifacts, systems, and experiences guided by anti-oppressive principles. They demonstrate how to examine positionality within the context of racism and oppression; help us understand how design can reinforce and perpetuate oppression; and reveal the unique relationship among equity, ethics, and responsibility that constitutes the core value of an anti-racist design discipline. In Racism Untaught, Mercer and Moses provide the framework we need to unlearn racialized design practices and move more generatively toward collective liberation.

With a foreword by renowned designer Cheryl D. Miller, Racism Untaught is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to help themselves and their organization create an actionable and inclusive plan to dismantle racial oppression and instead realize equitable, anti-racist, and liberatory design.

About the Author

Lisa E. Mercer is Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Design for Responsible Innovation at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Terresa Moses is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Director of Design Justice at the University of Minnesota and the Creative Director at Blackbird Revolt.

Praise for Racism Untaught: Revealing and Unlearning Racialized Design

“This groundbreaking book dives deep into the hidden biases embedded within design practices and offers a transforative approach to dismantling systemic racism. Taking readers on a journey through the history of design, Mercer and Moses showcase how racialized design perpetuates inequality and exclusion in our society and challenges readers to confront their own biases and actively engage in unlearning these harmful design patterns. Racism Untaught includes practical strategies that aim to empower individuals and communities to create a more inclusive and equitable future. It is a must-read for designers, activists, and anyone committed to dismantling racism in design.”
Metropolis

"Racism Untaught is a dynamic piece of scholarship disrupting our status quo. Embodying the design research process, Racism Untaught focuses on developing anti-racist designs in collaborative design environments. Mercer and Moses explore design-led interventions and why these approaches are foundational to disrupting normative design practice. Topics such as racism and oppression can be difficult to process and discuss, especially in classrooms, work environments, and community spaces that are not typically focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Chock-full of dynamic illustrations, case studies, data visualizations, and brilliant photography, Racism Untaught challenges us to be better than our histories. Moses’ cover design and illustrations are beautifully rendered. An accompanying workshop kit serves as a complimentary tool for studios, classrooms, or conference seminars. Try unpacking one of the case studies as a team, group project, or conference breakout, then ask the group to document their discoveries and write their reflections. Racism Untaught challenges everything we have been taught about racism in our lives."
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