Published March 10, 2022
A Place to Start
Human-centric ideas for the design process.
By Royce Epstein
Co-Founder, Dissent by Design
This A-to-Z manifesto was created for architects, interior designers, and everyone else as an aspirational guide to help design spaces that are equitable, inclusive, and humane.
The design of buildings has become very complex, with many stakeholders, budget constraints, existing standards of status-quo construction, sustainability imperatives, and bureaucracy.
Many designers want to create healthy and safe buildings that have a positive impact on communities, but don’t know where to start.
If we shift our focus from building for clients to building for people in communities, we can begin to see a different set of directives to guide the design process in a more humanistic way.
I wrote this manifesto as a free, open-source document. Feel free to use it and build upon it. It was designed in tabloid 11”x17” format for easy printing.
About Dissent by Design
Dissent by Design started in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and as a reaction to the death of George Floyd. Co-founded by Caroline Tiger and Royce Epstein as a way to explore design’s role in political protest and social movements, DBD began on Instagram with the goal to communicate the ubiquity of design and its part in challenging authority and effecting change. DBD also shows the potential of Instagram as a platform for communicating to a broad audience about design’s promise and impact. The immediacy of Instagram, as well as the display and archive of both images and text, allows for a digital gallery where we can all examine design together. Each post has a written component in addition to the images and introduces a design in context of dissent. DBD looks to answer the questions: What is it? What's its link to dissent? What is its impact as a design solution? Each post tells a story about the challenge, the solution, and the impact of design.
After a year with DBD, Tiger is now working on other projects, including volunteering to increase voter turnout and engagement in Philadelphia. Joining Epstein, currently the A&D Design Director at Mohawk Group, to continue DBD is Lindsay Bedford, a designer, artist, and writer with a passion for storytelling at the intersection of design and social justice. In addition to their Instagram account, they are adding content online at dissentbydesign.net.