rity Gera is an Architect and Industrial Designer. Her interests lie in the integration of Design and social sciences. With extensive experience along with industry and academia, she has worked on a variety of collaborative and multi-disciplinary design projects for both Indian and International markets. Krity’s interest in the application of Design to bring about a change in society led her towards pursuing PhD in Social Design. Her research interests lie in the domain of gender studies, mobilities, issues related to social inequality and autonomy. She is also interested in studying the relationships and opportunities that emerge from the complex conditions of informality as a design paradigm. Krity has also worked in collaboration with several NGOs that work towards women empowerment. She has presented her research at various international levels and has taught at postgraduate level.
It can be said that the peripheries of society hold the capacity to transform their limited resources and barriers into settings for various kinds of opportunities. My PhD research focuses on highlighting and understanding such capacities that emerge from the everyday mobilities of (marginalized) women from the Global South. Through the research it is revealed that despite the social and economic problems of the marginalised segment of the society, their capability of self-organization needs to be recognized as a potential that can inform the formal and rigid systems of the city in order to activate or enhance the overall mobility of women. To understand and reveal the critical factors set within the complex mesh of socio-cultural and spatial dimensions, the study uses a systems thinking approach to analysis. Through a multi-layered analysis, the study highlights the varying degree of factors that affect the ‘conditions of mobility’ for urban marginalized women. The study presents a set of design principles that act as essential touchpoints for designers, researchers, planners, social, governmental and non-governmental organizations with respect to various service-oriented systems based on inclusive aspects, characte
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ndrea Navarrete Rigo is a PhD candidate at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she is currently researching how to promote autonomy and decoloniality through Design. After graduating from the Bachelor of Industrial Design in Mexico –where she investigated Design’s impact and its possible future within a Latin American context– she realized that the role of Design, in the ruling economic dynamics, promotes unsustainable ways of production and consumption. These existing problems in society led her to study a MA in Social Design & Arts As Urban Innovation in Vienna, believing that Design can be used as a method for transformation. During her studies, she learned to work with participatory processes to design workshops that actively involve people in a project to create synergy and collectively devise novel strategies to channel society’s will and creative strength. The workshops she has designed and facilitated focus on social inclusion, development and use of clean technologies, synergy through arts and culture, culture of peace and non-violent communities, and Design for autonomy.
Her research argues that design has a broad field of action in developing appropriate strategies to address and contribute towards social transformation. However, the actual status of ‘social design’ is not precisely well-defined nor built upon theories able to support the practice, and it’s not integrally addressing the challenges it intends to solve. Additionally, this approach is constructed around developmental and humanitarian narratives, which lacks an understanding of inequality as a structural problem. For designers to work in the context of developing countries, design needs to be decolonized and move from the Western notion of design as an exercise of “problem-solving” and build upon an autonomous-oriented design that is consistent with the demands and urgency of the Global South. By doing so, the efforts put into aid and humanitarian programs through design might lead to more significant outputs that contribute to a community’s development and self-determination, promoting the creation of new ontological and epistemological platforms that allow the emergence of new worlds.
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