Crossposted from Design Observer with some transcript excerpts below.

Lee Moreau: “Welcome to Design As a show that’s intended to speculate on the future design from a range of different perspectives. This season, we’re going to focus on three key words as prompts: culture, complexity, and today we’ll be focused on citizenship. We’re here to interrogate and problematize design’s new role in and on the world and everything that we’ve been doing in design perhaps in the last several decades that’s really come to life right now….”


Lee Moreau: Sometimes we get to choose if we’re citizens. Other times there are forces that are preventing us from having that option, right, is part of the context for this. You know, in my work, we’re often trying to associate experiences with a sense of belonging. Do people want to be connected to this type of experience? Do they want to change their lives and partner with the people around them to belong to a group? What is the connection between belonging and citizenship?


Lily Tsai “…You know, when we think of citizenship as a status, it’s a characteristic of an individual, they are being put into a category and that category has privileges. And-and moreover, that category has status in the sense of social status or, you know, you’re higher than some people who are not citizens. And I think that what Oliver and Sheri have really usefully underscored is that it’s much more fruitful to think of citizenship as a relationship between the individual and the community. And that’s, I think, the connection to belonging. And I think that for me, what that implies is that relationships are best when there are two way relationships.

So it’s not just a matter of, you know, how the individual belongs to the collective, but the collective has to welcome that individual. And what are the-what are the environments that the collective is setting up? What are the practices and activities that are engaging the individual members of a collective? And moreover, I think that there has to be a two way relationship of trust and reciprocity that belonging, you know, and the interdependency that Oliver is referring to between, you know, the I and the we, that really has to be the we trusts the individual and the individual trust the we. And how do you build that kind of relationship? Well, you have to demonstrate the we has to demonstrate that they trust the individual. And I think that in this period of polycrisis, you know, I think there are a lot of individuals who don’t trust the we anymore and vice versa….”

Give the two-part episode a listen!

Photo by John Jennings on Unsplash