Tech Justice Merit Badges as a Creative Practice

Sydney Luken, Ethics Lab @ Georgetown University; Jonathan Healey, Ethics Lab at Georgetown University; Meera Kolluri, Ethics Lab @ Georgetown University

Toronto 2021: Justice

As designers, we are adept at issue-spotting… What’s not working? What needs changing? How can this be better? The prevalence of surveillance capitalism can overwhelm and restrain action that inspires and protects justice-oriented practices. Inspired by Allied Media Project’s dedication to “strategies rather than issues” and adrienne maree brown’s insistence that “what you pay attention to grows,” we’ve embraced Tech Justice Merit badges as a creative didactic designed to shift our collective attention towards what already has the power to resist and dismantle the objects and systems of our criticism, and to build them anew.

Originally conceived as a way for students to practice making sense of the Design Justice Network’s principles, the simple act of creating (and awarding!) badges provides an opportunity to more thoroughly explore our values while celebrating and calling attention to the people and projects working to dismantle systems of oppression.

Published: 01/30/2023