Cultivating Design Ecologies of Care, Community, and Collaboration

“How we are at the small scale is how we are at the large scale” (Adrienne Maree Brown).

To truly put humans in “human-centered design,” we must be care-centered. And how we practice care in our own teams or the “small scale” will influence the downstream impacts of our design work. This session is an invitation to explore how we practice and build ecologies of care, community, and collaboration to shift towards mutual power and symbiotic relationships throughout the design process. Drawing from a perspective of trauma-centeredness and harm reduction, we will all engage in deep (sometimes complex) reflection about what it means to care for yourself, with others, and develop an ethics of care to guide design teams. If the purpose of DesignOps is to build systems, processes and tools to support stronger design teams and individuals, this is the case for care: to show up as humans first, before we are designers, researchers, employers/the employed, technologists, or however you define your role.