Addressing Race, Class and Gender Disparity in Design

Many examples of "social awareness" in design fail to challenge the "status quo" -- they seek to merelymake the current system work more smoothly, rather than address structural problems of the system itself.

Examples of extremely difficult structural problems:

1) The percentage of National Income (the value generated by taking raw materials and labor worth X dollars and selling the resulting product for X+value dollars) that goes to the salary of workers has been dropping rapidly since the 1970s. The economy is booming, but that means little to Joe Sixpack.

2) When we look at income by gender and ethnicity, we see great disparity: white males make the most money, women of all ethnic groups make less, black women make less than white women, etc.

3) Looking at race, class and gender, we can see a direct correlation between socio-economic disparity and education

Educational technologies offer one way in which design can make an intervention into such difficult structural problems

(there are hundreds of others--including disability design and green design!)