August 17, 2023
A New Book Explores the Intersection of Design and Feminist Theory
Feminist Designer, which will be available this fall, moves beyond the concept of “inclusion” as a framework for discussing women in the design industries and instead compiles diverse contributions from over 40 transnational contributors on topics from anticapitalist branding and typography to mother-centered and trauma-informed design. Each of the six sections (titled Power, Knowledge, Care, Plurality, Liberation, and Community) contains an opening essay by Place followed by a selection of essays, conversations, and case studies that highlight not only theory but approachable methods such as notes on feminist design pedagogy or frameworks for disability design.
Claudia Marina in her contribution “On Calling Yourself a Designer” questions the boundaries of what we call “design” and who gets to do it. “Writing this essay, I started to question if capital-D design was inherently misogynistic, and when I asked myself that question, I found it harder to theorize that notion away,” Marina explains. “This book is not a capital-D solution, but rather a compendium of one of the tenets of feminist discourse, which is recognizing difference and thinking through it.”
Dedicated “to all feminist teachers— past, present, and future,” this book will be an invaluable resource for design educators and practitioners, challenging what we thought we knew while opening new possibilities for being and designing. As Place writes in the introduction, “To be a feminist designer is to see the world as it is and to continually imagine it otherwise—to willfully occupy the space between epistemological despair and radical hope.”
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