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Designs for Life/Black Creativity

My article in the German Marshall Fund newsletter

If you are on this blog, you know that my area of specialty is design and governmentality and that this past summer I was in Europe doing some comparative research on the topic. I wanted to share the link to a brief article I wrote for the German Marshall Fund alumni newsletter on the topic of design and governmentality, which I presented at the Chicago World Usability Day event. This is really exciting for design and usability’s visibility because this group of fellows represent some of the top 1,300 leaders (or emerging leaders) in American and European business, government, and non-profit sectors. (I am so not worthy to be on the list.)

In November, there was the normal blog chatter about why designers are not involved with governance (or at least Bruce Nussbaum wrote about it in his blog). Beyond the exemplary work of UPA, AIGA, and STC (Society for Technical Communication) in this area, there are many opportunities in which design can have a significant impact in policy formation, the implementation of policy through messages, artifacts, and experiences, its evaluation, and redesign. But there is so much work to do in order to make it possible in terms of general awareness, the training of designers and researchers to tackle these problems within the great bureaucratic constraints, and the complexity and frustration of the democratic process. So hopefully getting on the word out about design to these groups is one of many steps in the “Design and Governmentality” awareness campaign that others and I have embarked on.

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