Design Equity Resources

Adrian Petterson, Azhagu Meena, Samar Sabie, Priyank Chandra



This project looks into artifacts, toolkits and frameworks targeted towards the design of more equitable products and systems. We mix critical approaches to analyzing these artifacts against theories of justice, with participatory research in partnership with artifact creators. We ask, how can designers incorporate these artifacts into their practice to shift systems of design towards more equitable futures?


Design has been critiqued for creating inequities and reinforcing systems of privilege and oppression (Benjamin, 2019; Constanza-Chock, 2021; Ellcessor, 2016). In response to calls for more equitable design, numerous artifacts have been developed to address equity issues in the industry. These artifacts, at the broadest level, seek to help designers with a set of resources to engage in more equitable design practices. These artifacts provide important insights for designers to challenge their own biases and privieleges, however designers run the risk of taking these artifacts as stand alone “toolkits”, which cannot address address complex social issues such as ethics and equity (Berger, 2019; Lee, 2021; Wong, 2020). “Toolkits” can be understood as epistemological signals towards what is considered ‘best practice’ in a given situation, but can also narrow the ways that someone may respond to a problem (Mattern, 2021). Therefore, toolkits are a valuable resource to understand the epistemological framing of equity in design. Working with artifact creators, we investigate how design equity artifacts can best serve designers looking to challenge oppression in their practice, and what supplements are needed for a design justice millieu.


June 2023 Status Update
Currently interviewing design equity artifact creators.