Smile Politely

U of I Professor has developed a toolkit to identify racism in design

Lisa Mercer, an assistant professor of graphic design in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois has teamed up with Terresa Moses, an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Minnesota to create Racism Untaught. Racism Untaught is “a toolkit that uses the design research process to assist participants in identifying racialized design and critically assess anti-racist design approaches.”

Mercer and Moses have led Zoom workshops and employed Racism Untaught in their classrooms. Participants (or students) are presented with a prompt from their own lived experiences, or an example from culture, like ads for skin lightening cream or urban design that intentionally limits people of color from entering certain parts of a city.

You can read more about the toolkit on the Racism Untaught website, and in this Illinois News Bureau article.

Top image from Illinois News Bureau, by Lisa Mercer. It features a game that explores racist practices in urban design and development designed by one of Mercer’s students.


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