Throughout this work, I seek to understand the role that our biases, privileges, and assumptions, manifest themselves in the design work we create. I want to enable designers to recognise their identity’s role in their design practices. Understanding who you are is a critical element in facilitating thoughtful and contextually aware design.
Throughout this study, I have sought to be self-critical and self-aware. The focus nuance and sensitivity of this work continue to evolve as I become more aware of this topic and its relationship to practice. I have chosen to annotate my research documents rather than replace text. This is a conscious effort to present the development of my thinking and research.
Do designers = problem solvers? This question is a central feature of this work. Solutionism leads to a set of expectations and beliefs that design outcomes are absolute. The complexities examined through this work highlight the limitations of reductive, absolutist, approaches to design.
After researching identity, it was necessary to start questioning how the designer should be involved in the design process itself. As many designers have stated previously, users don’t know what they want; this is a topic I plan to explore further. However, a condensed view is that users are not in a position to describe what they need perfectly; it is the designer’s role to elicit their wants and needs and translate those into design possibilities.
“The most important thing you can do as a privileged person is give others a platform to speak about issues that you have no lived experience of.”
- Gina Martin