On the Personal and the Political in Design
264 pp., 7 x 10 in, 110 color illus.
- Published: September 5, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
A bold and timely collection that brings feminist theory and critical thinking to life through vital, approachable design methods and practices.
Feminist Designer brings together a constellation of voices and perspectives to examine the intersection of design and feminist theory. For decades, the feminist refrain within design has hinged on the representation and inclusion of women in the field. This collection, edited by Alison Place, however, is a call to move beyond this narrow application. Feminist design is not just about who does design—it is about how we do design and why. Feminist frameworks for design activism are now more relevant than ever, as they emphasize collaborative processes that aim to disrupt and dismantle power hierarchies while centering feminist ways of knowing and doing.
The first book in nearly three decades to address such practices in design, Feminist Designer contains essays, case studies, and dialogues by 43 contributors from 16 different countries. It engages a wide variety of design disciplines, from graphic design to disability design to algorithmic design, and explores key feminist themes, such as power, knowledge, care, plurality, liberation, and community. Through diverse, sometimes conflicting, intersectional perspectives, this book contributes new design methods informed by a multiplicity of feminisms that confront design's patriarchal origins while ushering in new pathways for making critical and meaningful change.
Claudia Marina, Griselda Flesler, Aggie Toppins, Aasawari Kulkarni, Jennifer Armbrust, Maryam Mustafa, Elizabeth Pérez, Aimi Hamraie, Gaby Hernández, Ashley K. Eberhart, Elizabeth Byrd, Madeline Avram Blount, Manon Vergerio, Velvet A. Johnson Ross, Eden Laurin, Ellen Kellogg, Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Jeff Kasper, Rachael Dietkus, Laura Devendorf, Attia Taylor, Becky Nasadowski, Benedetta Crippa, Cami Rincon, Andrew Mallinson, Margaret Middleton, Ayako Takase, Heather Snyder Quinn, Dina Benbrahim, Jenn Roberts, Alexis Hope, Joana Varon, Marie Louis Juul Søndergaard, Alexandra Crosby, Ilaria Vanni, Una Lee, Dann Toliver, Tawana Petty, Jane Im, Boaz Sender, Sarah Williams, Mandy Harris Williams, Lauren Lee McCarthy, In-ah Shin, Victor G. Martinez, Nina Paim, Maya Ober
“A joyful explosion of feminist design perspectives. Women and nonbinary designers—Black, Indigenous, white, queer, disabled, mothers, and aunties—are reclaiming 'innovation' from patriarchy and demanding space for pleasure, care, community, and collective liberation. A must-read for designers of all genders.”
Catherine D'Ignazio, Associate Professor and Director of the Data + Feminism Lab, MIT; Co-author of Data Feminism
“In this groundbreaking book, Place challenges us to reimagine design and its role in feminism, social justice, capitalism, and our own lives. This book is a pivotal point in the way we will study, conceive, and practice design.”
Robin Landa, Distinguished Professor, Michael Graves College, Kean University