d4d lab


Poster by Laila Simonovsky

Featured in…

3Rings and Otto > Be Our Guest: SocialDesignSite Presents Design 4 Development. April 30, 2009.

Selected Writing

Design for Development: Participatory Design and Contextual Research with Indigenous Maya Communities at Glide ’10
Presented at Glide 10, available on YouTube
Design for development (d4d) is an initiative where, I, along with my graphic design students, work together with people from marginalized indigenous communities— in the southern Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Yucatán—and other disciplinary experts to develop solutions to problems we mutually identify and research in context. A major part of this research process is to learn about the lives of our project partners, all marginalized Maya who are highly skilled but have historically lacked access to capital required to bring their projects to market. Learning about disciplines also involves learning about cultures and contexts, which we begin at the partner site in Mexico as part of a participatory and responsible research practice. Of significant focus is the fieldwork component that empowers all participants to connect, exchange, collaborate, innovate, and create. It is a learning opportunity for all project participants working to create a more equitable world.

Design for Development. Presented at the Impacto Social de Diseño at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.
Using examples and lessons learned from projects, I discuss some of the inclusive, socially responsible, and sustainable philosophies, strategies, and tactics we use – focusing on field research, ethnographic methods, sustainability, and responsible cultural representations to demonstrate how design can be used to foster development.

Experiential Fieldwork Enriches the Design Practice (PDF), Maria Rogal. presented at ICOGRADA 2007 Conference in Havana
I have sought out ways to provide US students opportunities to enrich their design and research practice by working in Mexico and to enhance their design practice through ethnographic research practices. Over the past four years, our work in Mexico has expanded students’ understanding of the lived realities of life in Mexico, contemporary design practice, benefits and challenges of working cross culturally,
and the complexities of cultural identity and representation. Our projects focused on collaborations with indigenous people and subsequently join socially, culturally, and economically different communities towards a common goal – to better the lives and knowledge exchange of all participants.

The Wixárika Calendar (with Cassie McDaniel and Avery Smith) on the American Institute of Graphic Arts website

México: My, Your, Our Fantasy. The Problem of Flatness in Intercultural Representations of Mexicanidad in Intercultural Communication Studies

Fulbright-Hays Pedagogy Project (2003)