Every day, millions of people engage in making the world more like the place they would love to live in, by design. I’m referring to people with no formal design training, determined to make their part of the world a little better.
I’m talking about the protesters at Standing Rock, struggling over the design of a pipeline that would put their water at risk and desecrate their sacred sites. I’m talking about the disability rights activists who fought for design guidelines to be incorporated into legislation to ensure access to civic spaces by people with disabilities. I’m thinking about neighbors on suburban architectural commissions that ensure that the sense of place they live in is well cared for. I’m referring to lawyers, nurses, teachers, social workers, housewives, police, first responders and politicians who design things as an intrinsic part of their daily work. They all are engaged in a design process, whether they are aware of it, or not.
They aren’t designers with a capital “D”. They are all Citizen Designers.(1)