The excerpts from Costanza-Chock’s Design Justice were many things at once for me as I read them-- informative, thought-provoking, and at times overwhelming. I appreciated the aspect of intentionality brought up at several instances. My impression of this concept was that the aspect of intentionality in design can help determine how to approach design justice. How do we determine the frame and scope of a design problem? Who can determine the problem and solution? I appreciate the idea of a “bias audit” (p. 63). The overwhelming aspect in thinking about design justice was, for me, thinking how to possibly account for and respect every perspective, need, and potential preference in design. My instinct would agree with Reinecke and Bernstein, that “it is not possible to design a single interface that appeals to all users” when it comes to a tech interface. As noted in this case, I would think that the best possibility for design is tending towards design that is sufficiently nimble and flexible that it can be adapted and altered given user feedback.
What about physical design construction? Some of the reading in Design Justice made me think back to a personal experience when I was on crutches for a few months and working in a lab. It took losing the function of my leg for me to realize that labs are in no way at all disability friendly. It’s not that I did not care previously about spaces being accommodating to someone with disability, I had just never thought about it in my personal day-to-day activities. Until I had a difficulty myself. Some of the practicalities of design, such as heavy double doors for pressurization, climate control and fire safety, likely plan first for the science and last for the accessible nature of the space. I see, though, that one of the main issues is that a laboratory space is not even approachable for many people. There will never be anyone to give feedback on the drawbacks of its design, because those who would have difficulty navigating it --but who COULD navigate it with design modifications-- are denied access from the start. How many other analogous design problems are out there? There are some programs and advocacy groups that exist, or departments within institutions, to modify labs such that they are approachable for many different kinds of people. However, it takes a lot to advocate for such changes, make accommodations, make any kind of lasting or widespread traditions to design. I can see how it is necessary to think about how the foundation of design can be laid such that it is amenable to alterations or customization-- whether it is a physical, technological, or digital design concept. In the end, something such as the design of a laboratory space would indeed encompass most of the stages and aspects of design that Costanza-Chock mentions, from framing to evaluating affordances to assessing how the biases perpetuate themselves to deciding who designs.