Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Design as protest: “What does disaster capitalism look like on black women’s bodies?”

If, by chance, I'm not elected mayor, it's becoming increasingly clear to me which direction I'll be traveling in future endeavors.

A Radical Design Movement Is Growing in New Orleans, by Nina Feldman (Next City)

City zoning that supports fair housing is boring. Very few people want to jump into a casual conversation about the best way to manage blight or reduce verbal street harassment. Unless you’re with friends, it’s next to impossible for a discussion about Confederate monuments or race and policing to become anything but inflammatory. (If you need evidence of that, refer to the comments section below any online article attempting to deal with those topics.) Yet these issues of urban justice can’t be left to trolls, or even politicians, to hash out — not if we want to see progress in our cities. Change will only come as a result of public awareness, dialogue and, ultimately, political pressure.

So, the question becomes a simple one: How do we get people to pay attention?

Over the past several years, activists in cities from Cairo to Oakland to Rio de Janeiro have increasingly found answers in the built environment and the field of design. They have protested inadequate infrastructure by building their own, deployed street art as political missive and reappropriated abandoned homes. All of this can be described as design as protest.

In a sense, design as protest is a matter of branding. It is a means of broadcasting a message and drawing people in.

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