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Society Centred Design

In this article step, Safiya Ahmed introduces learners to Society Centred Design and its role in designing for a diverse and inclusive future.
An aerial view of people walking on a concrete space with lines connected them

Let’s start by thinking about some of the key things to consider when designing for a diverse and inclusive future.

From human-centred design to Society Centred Design

In March last year, Projects by If launched the manifesto for Society Centred Design. The Society Centred Design principles champion the notion that we must move beyond human-centered design to Society Centered Design. To achieve this, we should look at the broader context of systems that we impact, and shape them through the tools we use, approaches we take and solutions we design.

“Designing for society means designing for the broader context of systems that we impact and shape. We can redefine our social contract with each other, and with the world that we steward. To do this, we must be intentional about citizen empowerment, civic commons, public health, equity, and the planet”

The 10 principles from Society Centered Design

  • Put care first
  • Earn trust
  • Empower collective agency
  • Reimagine public value
  • Design for people’s rights
  • Ensure fair and just oversight
  • Redistribute the power of technology
  • Create compassion at scale
  • Design for regenerative action
  • Confront uncertainty

If you would like to further your knowledge of each principle, you can do so by exploring the Society Centred Design manifesto created by Projects by If.

The 10 principles push us to consider people in relation to their communities or to wider society that rejects hierarchical and exclusionary practices.

With this manifesto in mind, share in the Comments section below:

  • Which principle resonates with you the most and why?
  • If you were to add an 11th principle, what would it say?

See what your fellow learners’ thoughts are and if any of their principles match yours.

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Designing for a Diverse and Inclusive Future

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