Please join us for another edition of our Design Lecture Series with School of Design Alumnus Dimeji Onafuwa and his lecture "A World Where Many Worlds Fit - Exploring pluriversal approaches to user experience" on March 16, 2020 at 5pm in Breed Hall.
A World Where Many Worlds Fit - Exploring pluriversal approaches to user experience.
UX design is not diverse or inclusive enough. We see in its practice that designers do not go far enough to acknowledge the differences that help us find common ground. Using real examples from both my professional and academic work, I will share a perspective on how a pluriversal posture might influence the way designers and design researchers work. I will draw from ontological definition of pluriverse (adopted by Arturo Escobar from the Zapatistas) as a world where many worlds fit. Anchoring on this definition, I will present a perspective that rejects the dominant binary problem-solving approaches in UX practice for more collective ones.
As UX designers sculpt interactions—from designing products that increase engagement to designing services and process that enable organizations to better serve their employees and clients – they must create work that supports the right of others to exist. Such a posture forces them to think beyond product making for its sake. Through my work, I have created a set of guiding principles for pluriversal approaches to UX design. These principles expand our understanding of difference and inclusion. When we use them humbly, collaboratively and systemically, we can improve the quality of the experiences we deliver to our stakeholders.
Dr. Dimeji Onafuwa is a designer and researcher with almost 20 years of combined experience in UX design and research, transition design, design strategy, service design, and social design. He has worked in various capacities in the discipline - from a design studio owner to UX consultant and researcher. He is currently a senior researcher at Microsoft, working to build better end-to-end experiences for its employees. He also gives lectures on design at universities across the globe.
Dimeji earned a Ph.D. in Design from Carnegie Mellon University. While at CMU, his research study sought to understand commons-based approaches to user experience on platforms. He has worked with various collectives to gain perspectives and provide technologies that help them better intervene in social dilemmas. Before his Ph.D., Dimeji earned an MBA in management from UNC Charlotte and BAs in design and studio art from Concord University.
Dimeji co-founded Common Cause Collective, an interdisciplinary group of designers working for social impact in the Pacific Northwest. He has published papers, a book chapter on design for the greater good, and spoken and conducted workshops on the responsibility of design.