Democracy cannot be taken for granted. As fellow design researchers professor Ezio Manzini and professor Victor Margolin write in an open letter to the design community:
We are in difficult and dangerous times. For many years, we lived in a world that, despite its problems, was nevertheless committed to principles of democracy in which human rights, fundamental freedoms, and opportunities for personal development, were increasing. Today, this picture has changed profoundly. There are attacks on democracy in several countries – including those where democracy had seemed to be unshakable
(read the full letter at http://www.democracy-design.org/)
Design and design research participate in shaping the world we live in and as designers and design researchers we also have to stake a stance towards the challenges and choices we are facing. In CODE we have been promoting socially engaged design in which the professional designer commits to the open-endedness of collaborative encounters with others. We nurture such encounters as democratic design experiments in which authorized citizenship and the right to be part of a hopeful ‘if’ provide the platform for participation.
We strongly support the call for action issued by professor Manzini and professor Margolin and encourage others in our community to do the same.
As a small contribution we plan an open workshop in September asking: What can Democratic Design Experiments do?