the JusticexDesign framework

The JusticexDesign (JxD) framework supports young people to explore the complexities of design, representation, power, and participation.

This framework encourages critical applications of Agency by Design's framework for maker-centered learning.

The JxD framework includes three overarching principles accompanied by a set of practices and guiding questions. The three principles are:

1 - Design is not neutral

Human-made objects and systems are designed in the context of a set of beliefs and ideas about the world. Design choices can influence representation and reveal messages about power.

2 - Power is multidimensional

Power is complex and takes many forms. It is not linear and is not binary. Different types of power influence how people and systems interact. Everyone has some form of power.

3 - Participation is constructed

Participation can be designed and redesigned. Participation is both doing and not doing. Forces of power, oppression, and identity influence participation.

Practices and guiding questions support deeper understanding of the three principles...

Look closely at yourself

  • Develop awareness of ways your identity and background shape your points of view, perceptions, biases, and actions when you engage with objects, systems, and content.

  • Questions to ask yourself: What and who influences my point of view? What shapes my bias? What parts of my identity influence my ideas and judgments? How does my identity or background influence how I engage with/relate to human-designed objects and systems?

Start with context

  • Investigate the context surrounding an object, system, or piece of content

  • Questions to ask yourself: Where was this object, system, or content made? When was it made? Who made it? What else was occurring at that place and time?

Make legacy visible

  • Illuminate systems of legacy that shape, provoke, and pervade modern society.

  • Questions to ask yourself: How does the past shape modern society? How does legacy make history enduring?

Probe representation

  • Consider voices, perspectives, and stories that are present, those that are missing, and why/how the presence and absence of voice might be intentional

  • Questions to ask yourself: What/whose voices, perspectives, or stories are present? What/whose are missing? Why? How does the presence or absence of certain voices, perspectives, or stories reveal messages about power?

Take apart & reimagine power

  • Explore the complexity of power in objects, systems, and content in order to find opportunities to intervene and/or make shifts in power

  • Questions to ask yourself: What are the different types of power present in this object, system or content? Who/what/where is the power coming from? Who/what/where is it moving toward? Who/what has the most power? Who/what has the least? How might power shift or change? What are some points of intervention that could lead to these shifts or changes?

Listen & speak bravely

  • Courageously share and receive perspectives, even—and especially—when they are contested

  • Resiliently listen through and accept discomfort in pursuit of complex and in-depth learning

  • Questions to ask yourself: What are some perspectives I have learned or heard about that are difficult to understand or relate to? What could I do in order to better receive these perspectives? What are some perspectives I have shared that may be difficult for others to understand or relate to? What could I do to help others receive these perspectives?

Re/design participation

  • Find opportunities to exercise agency to participate more or differently

  • Envision new or different narratives that challenge oppressive forces and systems

  • Questions to ask yourself: How am I currently participating? How might I participate more or differently? How might I challenge oppressive forces and systems by participating more or differently? Who else is participating, and how? Who might be participating without realizing it?