File(s) under embargo

Reason: author request

1

year(s)

10

month(s)

5

day(s)

until file(s) become available

Self & Systems: Designing Systems for Solidarity & Mutuality

thesis
posted on 14.07.2022, 17:01 authored by Nandini Nair

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that many of society’s systems are broken and deeply unequal. When systems fail, people need to rely on themselves and their communities to support each other’s survival and care needs. This method of community reliance and collective care is called mutual aid. All around the world, mutual aid networks leveraged the internet to build infrastructure for organizing and mobilizing community power. Two years since the pandemic started, many mutual aid groups have sustained themselves, continuing to provide a safety net for their vulnerable neighbors, while other groups have experienced the challenges of diminishing volunteer participation and burnout while still needing to address ongoing community needs. This research aims to increase our understanding of how to design more self-sustainable mutual aid systems. Through literature reviews, exemplar reviews, interviews, and observational analysis of current-day mutual aid groups in the United States, I investigate two aspects — the factors that contribute to self-sustainability and the role of design in the complex systems of mutual aid. My research offers broad insights into the design of self-sustainable systems, new models that reframes design within complex systems, and a mechanism for capturing design knowledge through stories and patterns.


History

Date

11/05/2022

Degree Type

Master's Thesis

Department

Design

Degree Name

  • Master of Design (MDes)

Advisor(s)

Molly Steenson Dan Lockton

Usage metrics

Exports