Democracy is also a design issue. The Democracy and Design Platform is an open community project, a digital space for discussing the relationship between democracy and design. The platform was started out of an initiative launched in March 2017 with an open letter by designers Ezio Manzini and Victor Margolin, with the aim of expressing in a proactive way the design world's reaction and perspective on the ongoing process of threat to democracy.
The platform focuses on educational activities, conferences, and setting up discourses in the fields of design. Through these activities and the networking of relevant actors, it can create change in society and lead to a proactive approach of design in the broad sense - the design of society. The platform is gathering and analyzing initiatives that are directly or indirectly linked to the “Stand Up for Democracy” initiative. Stand Up for Democracy is an international initiative motivated by the concern for the attack to democracy we are witnessing in several countries in the world.
Designers should not only be concerned with decorating the system, but directly with creating it. At the core of this platform is interest, based on an open letter to designers, are current society-wide challenges, defined as: job creation, welfare reform, environmental sustainability. The governance of communities has clearly changed with the advent of digital technologies. But not everything that is digital has to be automatically smart.
The authors of the project place great emphasis on ethical issues and the usability of design options for the good of the planet as a whole. The website is a valuable source of information, containing a selection of lectures, texts and videos. The Democracy and Design Platform can be joined via the contact form. Or you can also apply these principles in your own country and context and teach them I your students.
Enzio Manconi, Honorary Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. His interests focus on social innovation and in particular on design for social innovation. He started DESIS: an international network of schools of design specifically active in the field of design for social innovation and sustainability (http://www.desis-network.org).author: Democracy and Design Platform