At UIC, I teach a course called, Design and Governmentality. The purpose of the course is to introduce art and design students to transdisciplinary knowledge between design and political science, particularly how Policy is Designed as framed by the work of political scientists, Anne Schneider and Laura Ingram.
For their final projects, the students decided to produce policy proposals, as opposed to information campaigns as they assumed. Policy experts, designers, and peers evaluated the students’ policy proposals based on their clarity in conveying the problem and solution, feasibility, and overall performance. The students brought their designerly approach to the assignment. They diagrammed their problem and solution to edit down to the most important elements of their policies. They applied their information design skills to create compelling policy presentations that enabled both lay person and expert to contribution to discussion.
The value of teaching designers about the context of Policy as Designed is that they gain the knowledge to understand how policy is created, its social contexts, and issues. Through this knowledge, designers are better able to aid in the Design of policies to address the inequities embedded in policy formation and implementation. They will also be able to design policy artifacts, communications, and experiences that compel, include, and enable lay citizens to Design policy themselves.
Their solutions were innovative because they pushed the...