Can design be an agent of social change?
In order to answer this question the first thing is to recognize that design, as an offspring of capitalism, perpetuates values and systems of oppression and structural discrimination both in its cultural dimension and on a personal level with the individual behaviour and attitudes of those who take part in the practice of design.
In this sense, to be able to imagine design as an emancipatory practice it is necessary to re-imagine not only what it produces, but how it does it. In this essay I analyze the social dimension of design in order to propose new ways of practicing it, for example by changing the relationship between designer -» client / user for collaborative and more horizontal practices in which the designer, instead of designing »for« people, designs »with« them. By doing so clients and users stop being solely passive consumers and become active producers of their own solutions, allowing new kinds of relationships and engagement to emerge within these communities and their environments. What would be the role of designers in this new relationship? What challenges do we face with this change? These among other questions are addressed in the light of Una y Una , a collaborative project that grew out of my interest on the intersections of design and activism.