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Course Description

In this course, students explore how design industries encounter and address enduring challenges of inequality and other forms of oppression in the United States and throughout the world. The course considers the role of equity and social justice as it relates to design, beginning with two premises: 1) design plays a vital role in shaping both equitable and unequal outcomes in society, and 2) multiple causes shape the impact of design strategies, including systems, processes, and cultures, all of which can be actively or passively implicated in advancing or restricting equity and justice.


Course Length - Online 5 weeks

Learner Outcomes

  • An in-depth overview of theories of justice that explain how design can both perpetuate and combat oppressive systems, processes and cultures
  • Knowledge about how political, economic and social processes are shaped by questions concerning human rights and ethical responsibilities
  • Knowledge about the relationship between learning, critical consciousness, and community engagement, and their collective role in promoting and sustaining equity
  • Knowledge about how to critically analyze contemporary art and design projects and initiatives with stated commitments to equity, inclusion and social justice
  • Skills to identify and ethically respond to oppressive and anti-equitable practices in the workplace

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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