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The road to cooptation is paved with good intentions: an anarchafeminist critique on “empowering” design
This theoretical paper critically examines the relationship between design for social innovation and the concept of empowerment. It questions to what extent current empowerment discourses in design genuinely amplify marginalized voices or rather reinforce and hide existing structural inequalities. With the aim of unveiling the emptiness of signifiers such as empowerment -much like the contested concept of social innovation, this contribution aims to encourage a critical reflection on power dynamics through an anarchafeminist lens. Rather than striving for definite answers, this lens is an open and dynamic invitation to scholars and practitioners to continue exploring (self)critical spaces and interrogate design for social innovation to reveal and confront the complexities, oversights, and potential challenges of contemporary design paradigms.
- Design and Creative Arts
Published inProceedings of DRS
PublisherDesign Research Society
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)