Podcast: Decentralizing Power through Design with Sahibzada Mayed and Lauren Lin

September 13, 2023

Rosenfeld Review podcast – mayed and lin quote

Lauren and Mayed’s partnership began with conversations and exploration about what they could do to shift power dynamics and create more cohesive and engaging designs for all. The biggest hindrance, say Lauren and Mayed, is power hierarchies. Design leaders need to critically think about social identities, institutional positions, and other complexities and dimensions. How power shows up in our practices is always shifting and changing, and decentralizing power has to be an ongoing and emergent process.

And it all starts with ideas and conversations.  Mayed and Lauren have found that speculative design is a powerful way to reflect on the “now” and dream about what the future could look like. All real-world shifts begin with ideas, relationships, and conversations. These elements are at the heart of design.

What you’ll learn from this episode of The Rosenfeld Review podcast:

  • About Lauren and Mayed’s backgrounds
  • How their partnership came about
  • About their talk titled “Cultivating Design Ecologies of Care, Community, and Collaboration” that they will deliver at October’s DesignOps Summit
  • About power hierarchies in design and what design leaders can do to help decentralize power
  • About the role and potential of speculative design

See these speakers at the DesignOps Summit 2023

DesignOps Summit 2023 promotional image for session by Sahibzada Mayed and Lauren Lin: Cultivating Design Ecologies of Care, Community, and Collaboration

Sahibzada Mayed and Lauren Lin will be speakers at the upcoming DesignOps Summit on October 2-4, 2023. Their talk, “Cultivating Design Ecologies of Care, Community, and Collaboration,” will showcase the intersection of care-centeredness and design operations.

About Lauren Lin

Lauren has wanted to be a designer since she was in third grade. What kind of designer? An “everything” designer! From a young age, she embraced the idea that “you can design anything” from fashion to environments to moods and feelings. Today she employs ethical research practices and co-design to shift power and amplify youth voices, design toys, and bring play into her work at Ideo Play Lab.

About Sahibzada Mayed

Mayed has a social service and social impact background. Through a community-oriented storytelling approach, they co-lead strategy and research at Cause and Affect, a relational design consultancy in Canada.