Women@NCSA invites you to join us on Zoom for a talk featuring Lisa Elzey Mercer, UIUC Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Design for Responsible Innovation, on a talk titled Responsible Design and Social Innovation. Free to attend, no registration required.
Design invades all aspects of our lives. From advertisements to urban planning to the digital technologies we use, design is everywhere. It adds value, convenience, functionality, and beauty for some. Design is powerful. It is also divisive and limiting, playing a critical role in perpetuating racism, prejudice, segregation, and discrimination. To understand how it oppresses, you must turn to the designers who built these structures and grasp their true intent and purpose. Many people responsible for organizing and planning these infrastructures, most white cis-gendered males, were not representative of the communities they serve. The same can be said about those in these roles today. However, people and organizations worldwide are working towards addressing these complex issues, using innovation, collaboration, and human-centered thinking to design responsibly for social good.
Lisa Elzey Mercer (she/her/hers) is a designer, educator, and researcher. Her interests are in developing and executing design interventions that fuel and sustain responsible design for social impact. The developed frameworks and tools are intended to create a space for conversation and knowledge exchange where participants can collaborate in creating new ideas and solutions. This type of methodology is evidenced in her current projects focused on the topics of human trafficking, incarceration, race, and racism. She co-developed the framework Racism Untaught with Terresa Moses, University of Minnesota. Racism Untaught is a framework for collaborators to identify racialized design and critically assess anti-racist design approaches. We have iteratively improved upon the toolkit through working with our industry partners including Target, Spotify, PayPal, and Apple. Our academic partners include the University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, Parsons School of Design, Louisiana State University, and Auburn University. She also developed Operation Compass, an ethnographic research study concerned with developing design-led interventions to combat the complex social issue of human trafficking.