Rather than centering the designer as the only problem solver, social designers seek design approaches that energize collaborators towards equitable social conditions and more supportive, empowered environments for change. As the heart of our work, we center communities and depend on each other in relationship and mutuality.
As social designers, we learn to hold stronger connections to the collaborators involved, resulting in a deeper connection to social issues and the people affected by them. As such, we recognize that community also brings questions of “who?” and “how?”, power and privilege, and accountability. Relationships cannot be assumed to “just happen” or exist everywhere.
“There is an urgent need to strengthen the resilience of our communities, at work, at home and where we live, work and play” says Community Designer Sloan Leo (FLOX Studio, Designer In Residence Fall 2019). This means that we support, question, and embody what means to be a community – both inside DSI and out in the world – inquiring about what it means to design in these shared spaces with care.