Some Mind Warm-up to Season Your Holiday Seasons!


The year 2020 has been tough in many ways, but at the same time has been a time that almost everyone experienced a pause and reflection. In many terms the year shaked up our grounds, but not all of those quakes were awful, many of us felt and acted for change; in fact, self-change. Waiting in the wings is a new year, 2021, and there is ample reason to believe it can and will be better because our individual and collective reflections, actions and inactions has fueled a strong momentum for change.

As a New Year gift, I prepared a list of some good stuff to read, watch and listen for your holiday. These can help with thinking, feeling and orienting oneself through equity and impact-centered practice:

Equity-Centered Community Design

This field guide explains a creative design process created by Creative Reaction Lab, based on equity, humility-building, integrating history and healing practices, addressing power dynamics, and co-creating with the community. This design process focuses on a community’s culture and needs so that they can gain tools to dismantle systemic oppression and create a future with equity for all.

How to “Shut up and Listen”

Why is failure so common in social design? Because designers trust their instincts and their experiences rather than the knowledge and instinct that exist and already working in the local context. What is needed is a process that takes the ego, attitude, and seniority of people out of the equation, and instead creates a simple process that embraces mutual learning and impact. It requires us, designers to sit back and observe and listen, as Ernesto Sirolli beautifully said in this Ted talk.

Is Human-Centered Design (HCD) the panacea for communities’ pressing issues?

Well, this is not an easy question, and what I can say is, it depends on how we are implementing this approach in the whole process of design, it’s all about how far and deep we merge into the root causes, and how much collaborative and systemic we work toward change

HCD as a mindset and process, can help us in creating collaborative processes in solution creation, with those who are most impacted by the issue, this process supports us to empathize and understand, and can direct us toward solutions that can address the pressing needs. But, certainly it is not enough for deep diving in root causes. Collective impact is the key for creating lasting change, and toward realizing such collective action, HCD can be a great catalyst. Here is some useful materials that can give you a better perspective:

A quick look into Human-centered Design

Good to watch if you are curious to learn more about Design for social impact , in architecture using HCD

What kind of architect doesn’t design buildings?!

Design Won’t Save the World

Is human-centered Design broken?

Pandemic and the challenge of community-engaged design

Good to watch:

Design in the Apocalypse

What is community engaged design during — and after — COVID?

And the last one, is an ear warm up!

Social Design Insights is a weekly podcast produced by the Curry Stone Foundation. Through conversation with leading designers, it provides insights into innovative projects and practices that use design to address pressing social justice .



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My name is Marveh. I am a co-creation savvy. I love sharing stories about People, Land, Roots and Design.