Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 49 (3):14-15 (2021)

Sometimes to build something new you have to destroy what exists. We learned what should have been this obvious fact of existence through our collaboration with a group of 7th grade middle school students that we enlisted in a civic design project. The students were nominally tasked with designing new spaces for inter-cultural communication and public reflection on the small island our university campus shares with a small residential community in the middle of one of the most capitalized urban landscapes in the modern world. Why did it take a group of young middle schoolers to help us as design researchers recognize the significance of destruction as a design move? How can we use this experience to inform our discussion of politics in design, where the interesting question is not whether a design has politics or not, but what politics a specific design proposal does manifest, and how such acts can help surface the underlying tensions within a society or community? These are some of the questions that we probe in reflecting on this episode from the perspective of design.
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DOI 10.1145/3447913.3447921
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