Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

Who deserves to be a part of our society?

Our Time is Now by Stacey Abrams is a scrupulously detailed text on today’s unique opportunity in American society. By unpacking the value of identity politics, emoting the crushing experience of her 2018 Georgia election, and interweaving stories of lost opportunity, she makes the case for rebuilding the voting system into one that represents the umbrella of American experience.


Image for post
Image for post
Source: Ethansmith

Have you heard of a kgotla?

Depending on the context, it’s a public meeting, traditional law court, a community council of Botswana villages, or all of these at once. I hadn’t heard of one until I visited the country for my research. In 2016, at Botswana’s second International Development Design Summit, I witnessed how the kgotla in the village of D’Kar introduced foreign designers like me to the local community members, to receive the community’s blessing for our four-week summit.

It was clear that the kgotla was significant to the culture, institutions, and daily lives of Batswana. A traditional Setswana…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Travis Colbert on Unsplash

What have you lost, on accident or purpose, because of the pandemic?

Flash Gordon has been my nickname my entire life. I got the name from a Morehouse brother who saw me zoom from one task to another with reckless abandon. I learned this important lesson the first time I wrote a scholarship letter to colleges and had to make a personal case for my value. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by bady abbas on Unsplash

What made you fall in love with design?

Personally, the field made me feel like I could do anything. Our tools, mindsets, spaces, and creations have stewarded possibility for generations. I remember learning about how the methods of human-centered design — tactical empathy, brainstorming, prototyping, and many more — were tools available to any human that wanted to make something new in the world.

Over time, I learned more about the constraints caused by the actual culture of design. What actually happens in…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jan Huber on Unsplash

Does going to school make you feel empowered?

Think back to the last time you were in a classroom.

We’re not talking about when you walked across the stage, or the few times in your life you used your education at your job. I’m talking about those morose times in a lecture hall, learning about whatever topic you’ll forget at the end of the semester.

Let’s go back. Actively sitting in the seat, listening to a professor, taking quizzes and tests…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Liza Rusalskaya on Unsplash

This moment feels different.

It seems overnight, the world is overcome with injecting anti-racism into every endeavor. Some colleagues, for the first time, are coping with the weight of the oppressive system. Others, fortunately, have collected countless resources posed to help design a more equitable future.

Unfortunately, racism proves to be larger, more abstract, and more elusive than the objects traditional designers are used to constructing. To some extent, it’s not their fault: racism’s been designed into our society for hundreds of years. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Liza Rusalskaya on Unsplash

Design is the process by which the politics of one world become the constraints on another.

Fred Turner

I’m glad you’re back.

If you made it here first, you might want to check out A Hundred Racist Designs, Part 1. It will clarify the context for you.

If you have, I’d love to hear how your reflection went. What racist objects inhabit your daily life? What changes can we make so the things we make are more equitable? How are we making oppression more visible…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by J W on Unsplash

If you’re at an event like Botswana’s Desert Race, you might think that saying this means we’re trying to get over on event planners. Admittedly, in a way, we were But, we weren’t doing it to enjoy the event’s talent, or to enjoy the good life. We had essential research to conduct.

We needed people, pictures, and stories about the event and getting into the VIP area offered the space to learn about who — and how — it was designed…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mario Calvo on Unsplash

Remember Nick Cannon’s recent hot take on slavery? No, not that one.

This one:

Do you remember the context? This was about the time massive slave movies were captivating theatre audiences. Lincoln, Django Unchained, and 12 Years a Slave, had come out in quick succession. For better or worse, Cannon’s opinion stirred up a national discussion about the impact of black cinema. Some agreed, others thought he made much ado about nothing, At the time, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about.

I’ve since changed my mind.

It might…

Pierce Gordon, Ph.D.

How does your design shift power? | http://www.piercegordon1.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store