Design Feminisms Research Group
The Design Feminisms Research Group is an inclusive feminist research group at Northumbria University’s School of Design. The Group explores meanings and implications of ‘feminisms’ in design, and how this political orientation and theoretical framework impacts research, teaching, and practice.
The Group is inclusive of people of all genders who do research around, are exploring, or are interested in learning more about feminisms and how this theory and lens relates to design. Members appreciate that the term ‘feminism’ means many things to many people, and it is part of the group mission to hold some of those tensions and explore different positionalities towards this term. While defining the term is not a straightforward thing, members do have some non-negotiable concerns: the group is explicitly trans-inclusive, anti-racist, and pluriversal.
The word ‘feminism’ comes from women’s liberation movements, but since then has expanded to address wider issues of inequity, of exclusion and inclusion; notions of embedded care and ethics in research processes; explorations of liberatory practices. This is why the group uses the pluralist ‘feminisms’ – to highlight the plurality of this theory, methodology, and politic. What this means in practice, is members embed feminist values as people and as design researchers and that they work towards more equitable partnerships and relationships in research. They value each person who contributes to a project for their unique knowledge, and actively encourage more diverse people to participate. They are building a community to actively grow solidarity and a community of support for those interested in exploring this identity.
Group researchers work collaboratively with academic and non-academic partners in socially-engaged and contested research spaces to produce both knowledge and action. This is informed by the group’s explicit political commitments to equity, class struggle, decolonial, and anti-racism work, as well as participatory, collaborative, and critical research approaches. Ultimately, the Group thinks with and through design to understand and build pluralist socially just futures, starting from the margins.
The Group runs a weekly research and writing session as well as a monthly ‘interesting stuff’ and ‘studio time’ session where members come together to discuss research and practice, and to socialise. Anyone is welcome to attend.
No, this infrastructure does not provide funding.
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110-114 Middlesex St