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Imagine Otherwise: Sasha Costanza-Chock on Design Justice

Imagine Otherwise: Sasha Costanza-Chock on Design Justice

February 20, 2020
Sasha Costanza-Chock wearing a red shawl, headwrap, and black skirt, sitting in a studio

How can putting marginalized people at the very center of design and technology change the world for the better? This is the question that has motivated Sasha Costanza-Chock’s work for the past two-and-a-half decades.

In episode 105 of Imagine Otherwise, I interview design justice advocate Sasha Costanza-Chock about the world-changing effect of putting marginalized people at the center of design and technology practices; how the design justice movement reveals the way social movements have been erased from mainstream storytelling about innovations like Twitter; how researchers, media makers, and community activists can develop mutually beneficial project frameworks; and why challenging universalism and valuing things that don’t scale is how Sasha imagines otherwise.

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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Sasha’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).

Guest: Sasha Costanza-Chock

Sasha Costanza-Chock is a scholar, activist, designer, and media-maker, as well as an associate professor of civic media at MIT.

They are a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, faculty affiliate with the MIT Open Documentary Lab, and creator of the MIT Codesign Studio (codesign.mit.edu).

Their work focuses on social movements, transformative media organizing, and design justice. Sasha’s first book, Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets: Transmedia Organizing and the Immigrant Rights Movement was published by the MIT Press in 2014. Their new book, Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need was published by MIT Press in 2020.

Sasha is a board member of Allied Media Projects (alliedmedia.org) and a Steering Committee member of the Design Justice Network (designjusticenetwork.org).

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