As a culmination to this study, our team developed a design framework through Black womxn’s narratives that considers both the principles and actions to inspire how we build more inclusive approaches towards design and planning processes.
At large, this framework seeks to unpack how the design profession can better leverage community voice to develop place-based design standards. In order to create better design solutions, we need to diversify our principles, values, and thinking. The root of change begins with developing interventions within standard workflows. Core to this notion is the importance of elevating design process over outcomes as a framework for design justice. We must acknowledge that expertise in the field extends beyond those with accolades. A wealth of knowledge is held amongst Black womxn and other communities that navigate systematic challenges on a daily basis. We hope this framework sparks acknowledgment of Black womxn’s presence and contributions to our cities, and pushes the principles to ground our approaches moving forward to build a more just society.
These four principles serve as a conceptual framework to build more mindfulness and conversation around the values driving each project. Within a hyper product-oriented environment, it is crucial to build space for deeper questioning around what drives our work, and who is it truly for? Visually represented and read from the bottom-up, this diagram emphasizes that the most impactful work grows out of a firmly rooted purpose.
Establish consensus and collective understanding before collaboration unfolds.
Build strength and resilience through honoring, reconciling, and healing from past successes and struggles to develop more informed solutions moving forward.
Recognize that the work is larger than ourselves, our teams, or a given site. Understand planning and design as a tool co-create liberatory spaces with communities.
Challenge standards of expertise to build teams that represent diverse narrative, thinking, and identity to help foster more innovative design solutions.
The following actions build off design principles to provide space to allow us to envision what a future looks like where Black womxn are thriving. These four themes as depicted below serve to illustrate actionable strategies that demonstrate affirming spaces for Black womxn in the future. Through this research, we practice in this realm of Black futurism as exploratory. This implies that there is no one way that Black futures can be predicted, however, there are elements necessary for Black futures to thrive.