Supporting transitions towards more equitable, sustainable and fair futures
As a researcher, working in design and social innovation, my focus is to understand how design practices help people thrive,” says Joyce Yee. She advocates for culturally diverse and locally relevant practices that challenge the dominant industrialized and western-centric models of design. Joyce’s work includes supporting Asia-Pacific women craft persons and social innovators through a peer mentoring program, working with young people in the Northeast of England to co-design a holiday activities and food program, and exploring the impact of creative districts in Thailand.
“I’m interested in exploring and challenging the boundaries of design actions aimed at supporting transitions towards more equitable, sustainable and fair futures. This is especially important since dominant Design practices (with its origin from an Anglo-European industrial model) can inadvertently reproduce global hierarchies and inequalities.” Therefore, Joyce’s work is aimed at problematising this, but also finding ways to pluralize our understanding, framing and application by learning from other cultures of designing.
Her keynote will question Design’s ability to meaningfully contribute towards systemic change. “I want to offer an overview of how design has contributed to systems change actions,” explains Joyce. “Design has immense power and potential to contribute effectively to systemic change. However, this can only be done through a critical and reflective lens, otherwise it risks reinforcing pre-existing inequalities. My aim is not to offer any answers, but to raise critical questions of its current practices, limitations, and offer possible ways forward.