Title: Designing for equality: how a social design approach can make a difference

Authors: Colin M. Kennedy

Addresses: School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand

Abstract: Inequality has become increasingly entrenched in society and as such it is difficult to motivate people that change is possible or even desirable. This normalisation is partially the result of a widespread tolerance of the social condition and the often esoteric presentation of the situation to the public. This article focuses on the issues of public communication and the naturalisation of social disparity, and argues that social design is capable of introducing disruptive strategies and tools to elicit change and achieve greater engagement and knowledge. To examine the potential of such an approach, the article uses examples of social design projects to demonstrate how situations of disparity can be positively impacted in various contexts. It is suggested that social design is capable of innovating disruptive processes and communication strategies by challenging normalised structures and ideas.

Keywords: social design; inequality; public communication; disruptive strategies; community engagement; design for equality; social disparity; social change; knowledge.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2016.078608

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2016 Vol.9 No.3, pp.187 - 198

Received: 20 Dec 2014
Accepted: 06 Feb 2015

Published online: 26 Aug 2016 *

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