The wonderful thing about this work is one way to move it towards, like, into a laboratory space is to then learn from people who have access to the materials. And for them to turn to us and say, Hey, I did this with it. And it was amazing. And I want to know why. And then I'm okay with it not having been my idea. Because then would it be amazing if we then shared it like, in a way that we were able to elevate each other? Instead of saying, no, no, that's not the intention. You did it wrong. You know, you're dismantling racism incorrectly. Like, if you're dismantling if your focus is to dismantle racism, and you're doing that in such a way where you are being liberatory, in your own practice, to me, I want to hear about it. Because that's exciting. We had one person invite us in for to debate the word racism. And I thought, Great, let's debate it, because that means that on a predominantly white institutions campus, we're debating the word racism. And I don't care if my definition of racism is different than your definition of racism, where that I use the tool in this way and use the tool that way. It means that we're creating a space for students to see this discourse, we're going to practice in front of them to disagree agreeably, and to find ways of having discussions around racism. And to me, it's this bigger picture.
Hey, what's up everyone? Welcome to Works in Process, the podcast about uncovering creative methodologies from people doing inspiring work. Today, I'm excited to collaborate with another organization. The educators and authors of the book racism on top have asked me to host their first episode of their podcast, which is part of a newer series that will complement their book. And if you haven't heard Episode 15, where we discuss racism and talk with co founder Teressa. Moses, I encourage you to go back and listen right now. And now along with Vanessa, we're joined with co founder Lisa Mercer. I'm delighted to have him on the podcast to discuss their new book, and how their framework evolved from individual ideas to systematic change toolkit. We're also going to talk with them about their working styles, and how they decided that writing a book was our next step after hosting successful educational, academic, and corporate workshops. I'm your host, designer and educator George Garrastegui, Jr. Join me as I continue to elevate the creative process by shifting the focus to how we work over what we produce. So we're going to have a probably a lot to talk about, and I'd rather let my guests discuss their quick BIOS before we get into this combo. So, Teresa, Lisa, thank you so much for being on the Works in Process podcast. And Terry, thanks for being back on.
Thanks for having us.
Can you both do a quick one minute bio of yourselves before we get to the heart of conversation? And I think I'm going to start with Lisa.
Absolutely. Thank you for having us. So my name is Lisa Mercer, I use she her pronouns. I'm an associate professor at the University of Illinois, at the main campus in Urbana Champaign. My research is mostly focused around the topics of incarceration, human trafficking, anti racism, anti black racism work, and I just received tenure in May. And so right now, I'm trying to figure out what's next for me to of course, I'm definitely going to stay grounded in anti oppressive anti racism work. But I'm really interested in figuring out how to get away from this as intense rigor of tenure and really ground myself and like being even more intentional than I think I lead with already. And so does that mean like I slowed down a little bit or I maybe I'm transition about my research into slightly more collaborative, maybe focus on a PhD. I don't know what's next, but I'm looking forward to figuring it out. Terry?
Hello again, George. I am that is a Moses, I'm a proud black queer woman. And my work is dedicated to black and brown People's Liberation. I am an assistant professor of graphic design and the Director of Design justice for the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, Chris, the CO collaborating creator for racism and taught as well as work that's focused on black liberation and undoing anti black racism and racism in general. I have a book coming out not only with Lisa but I have another one coming out with Maurice Sousa. It's called an anthology of blackness and I am currently working on my Ph. D. So while I'm not yet there at that place of completely not having any projects I'm looking forward to next year because by next year, I will have gotten tenure, I will have finished my PhD. And I will have published these two books. So I like Lisa am excited and anticipating what's next for me as well. I'm also situated here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Dakota lands. So thank you again for having me.
Thank you both. Now look at you both trying to do PhDs and trying to elevate the game. And now we have to worry about if other people like us are going to try to mimic what you all do. So I really want to get into obviously, your framework, how it works, and of course, your upcoming book. But before we do that, I always do something in the beginning, so we can just clear our minds. Are you both ready? Absolutely. All right. So this is a first a series of this or that questions? Coffee or tea? Coffee, tea, toast or bagel? toast, toast. Designing or researching, researching, designing workshops are teaching
Now you just kind of try like see who doesn't want to pick the other one. Liberation, or abolishing?
Oh, gosh, I think I want to give reasoning, but I'm just gonna stick to the one word liberation.
for me, too. You can't see that. But their faces that they made when they had the choice. They're like, Oh my God, how do I choose just one of those? It's like, what? One? Exactly. And so the second one is quick word associations, right. So the first thing you think of when you hear these words, and we're going to alternate so we'll start with Lisa. Creativity. Have fun. And then Terry, determination. Resiliency, business.
I was thinking boring.
There you go. Failure, hard. Community. I love education. Fun, mistakes, valuable. Skills, kick ass, history, knowledge, opportunity, access, accessibility. Everyone, future black people. And of course, this last one's for both of you. Process
Thank you. I also love that you get to bounce off of what somebody else said. Yeah,
I'm wondering like it was a different words that I said then from the last podcast. So I have to go back. And listen,
I think we have that. So we can probably let you know. So thank you, I think starting off with this exercise gets our brains into a mental state of what we're going to be talking about. So thank you for that. And so now I want to give my listeners a glimpse into your origin story. Right? Usually, I'm talking to a single individual, and we start to uncover how they started. And the difference is, we've already had Terry on the episode. And I've talked to Lisa multiple times. And now we're talking to you as an entity, this idea of racism on taught in this book that's about to happen. So I kind of want to understand how you both meet. How'd you get to this point, right? Because this is not just obviously, quick work. This has been deep rooted and things have been happening. So where did y'all meet? And was it a creative endeavor or school or somebody talked to me?
I wish we had a creative story. Actually, Lisa and I met on hinge. No.
I love it. That's exactly how it works. I like
my version of the story.
Because there's one.
Yes. Well, no, I always say we met in grad school, definitely. But the way I remember it is we were both in a class and we needed more space for the students is and I remember going up to Terry and being like, we sit next to me. And then from there, we just started having like lunch together every week. And you became this person for me who I could talk to you about my research initially. And then it just sort of we just became friends and and then we just started talking about all of our interests and passions, but I just remember walking up to you in class and being like, please, I felt like I was in like the third grade. You know, like when you sit next to me.
And as you say that story, I'm literally thinking about lunch at this very moment and the chicken and noodles that we used to get it sit, there's this fireplace that was right by the university. And there was this fireplace. And we also always used to order these chicken and noodles and it was so good. And I really hope that it's there so that one day I can visit back. But yes, we met in grad school. And we were both working on. I don't know what your initial purpose was for grad school, Lisa, but mine was really to get out of where I was at. I was in a slump. I was an apparel designer and a graphic designer, but like I was doing the same thing over and over. And I really used grad school as an opportunity for me to find what I was most interested in. And like I woke up one day and was like, Oh, I could totally teach an illustrator class. And that's how like, I started to dive deep into grad school. And then when I got there, I realized oh, I can actually like solve issues in my community using design like I can actually like I still to this day like is my first day of class. I did not know what my degree and design research was actually doing until I actually started doing it. So yeah,
I think our approach Rahm was set up in a way. Well, first, our advisors were Michael Gibson, and Keith Owens at the University of North Texas. And they've set up the program in such a way that they weren't going to save you in a sense that they wanted to let you fail so much that you learned the safety net was there where if you did the research, and you did it slightly wrong, you sort of learned from that. And then instead of them saying, This is how you do it, you do it exactly like this. They set it up in such a way where we were able to learn from ourselves and from each other, which I always really appreciated. I think, for me, I was also in a point my life where I was trying to figure out what's next for me, I'd recently moved to Texas from Denver. And I knew I'd always wanted to go to grad school. And I was just trying to figure out how can I shift the work that I had been doing for 1314 years as a front end developer, but do it in a way where I was applying it to something I was passionate about. And I was just sort of tired of developing like the next website or the next mobile app, you know, or learning the next coding. And I've had three kids. And the joke was, every time I had a kid, that like there was some new form of coding, or Adobe would release like a whole new set of platforms. And so I was just really excited to try something new.
So then you stop having kids. So Adobe stopped making new updates. Yeah, right.
They've stopped. Yeah, exactly. Everything was
always it was always connected to you. We didn't know that. I didn't know. So from that first time of you, like a third grader who said asking, daring, would you can I sit next to you? And in grad school, this idea, right. So you were both just in school, but who approached who? On starting to work on projects together?
I remember this too. I don't know if you remember we were at lunch at JBS and we always used to get the chicken soup the taco. Oh, gosh, it's that soup we always used to get and then we would get the brownies dessert. Do you remember this? I don't know why I remember the meal.
But I do the meals or the meals are important.
There really was. But anyway, we would get this food. And we were talking about it was very recent, where the Black Lives Matter movement had really just made like its first like, huge appearance. You know, like in the News, the news had just taken notice, like, what is this mean? Of course, we were in Texas at the time, and there had just been protests in Dallas. And for us, I remember the conversation that we were saying like I understanding of this movement is being missed. And how can we as designers who liked to help make sense and put meaning out there, help others understand the value of this movement? I just remember having that conversation with you. We didn't start working on it exactly then. But I remember that being like a critical point of the conversation.
Yeah. And then it happened after I moved. And you were also moving. But like it happened after that. Because it's when I finally got up to the we started actually building our team. So when I moved from Texas to dilute to start my job at the university, Minnesota Duluth, we started building the team. And my sister was on it because she was a mathematician. And so she was helping us with statistics. And she like love statistics. And so I remember she was helping us with understanding, you know, how police violence was showing up in all these places. We started pulling all these case studies, we even pulled someone in from our grad program. Yeah, Jeff, at one point, and we started bringing in all these folks to understand police violence and understand what the Movement was really about. I don't think we had a point at the time, which I think that it was, we were very comfortable in that mentality. Because in our program in our grad program, it was really just like, here's the problem, learn all you can about it before you even start to think about here's the solution we need to design that wasn't even in our mindset, we were really just gathering information. And I felt like that was a really fun time for us, because we didn't know what it was that we were creating racism. And it wasn't even something that we were thinking about. It was really just like, Okay, we see this problem around racism, police violence, we see this concept Black Lives Matter. That's not being understood by other folks who think it's like some type of attack on to them. And so how can we use our own skill sets to amplify this messaging? And yeah, and then it was like, When did 45 get elected? That 2018 66 2016 2018 is when when racism attack started, 2016 45 got elected, and we were depleted. We were doing all of this research, and we just got defeated,
and then it stopped. At that point. We didn't do anything for about almost two years, at least in that in that regard. And we were just trying to get our feet under us individually. We were both trying to figure out what is this look like for us, as researchers, educators, people as individuals like ourself, and There are beings, you know, like, how are we going to live in this way with this new understanding of, of culture and the way that it was shifting. So then in 2018, I was the graduate representative for at the University of Illinois in our program. And I asked Terry to come out and give feedback to the graduate students. And during lunch one day, we started talking about how we were each integrating this into our classes. And we probably talked about it before then also, but we were just always sharing this kind of information with each other, and sharing it at conferences as well. And so then we started to think through how can we support other educators to have these conversations in any classroom, not just with those focused on the ideas of you know, those safe words we use, like diversity, equity and inclusion. And so that's really how it got started was that that lunch? And for whatever reason, with as much of a savor of things and information that we both are very organized with, this is like the one concept map that we are missing from our archives is that that when we made it lunch, we have one picture of it. And it's not even a full picture. So
but do you have the picture of the lunch?
I remember oranges being there at the table. Honestly, this is food is such a good, like, place for us around like inclusion and culture and all that. So I love it that we remember that. But yes, we cannot remember where the concept map is. But after we had that lunch, which was early spring, then I got accepted into this little fellowship at my campus. And it was a week long fellowship that like we could use the Media Lab and like all of these things. And I was like Lisa, work on this with me during this week. And we essentially just spent the week every day meeting and racism on top was just born. And we talk about this in the book, like we talk about how like it became this idea that we just like boom started. And but like I honestly can't, I just know that we use the design research process. And we were like, Let's start there. That's when like, you know, so we use that. And then we just started to Morfitt and iteratively. Create what you see today,
it's so great to hear. One, just the backstory, the backstory how one just kind of finding each other, talking about similar things. And going back to moments where you're both having these conversations, or because it's your research style, and then realizing that Terry's in a fellowship, but Lisa, you should be here with me because we're kind of on the same wavelength. And then utilizing that to figure out that there's something larger, it's so interesting to hear that because now if you know that started in 2018, we're five years later, right? And you are both like full steam ahead. So sometimes those stories of knowing how it started, you know, go by the wayside, because we just know what you're doing now. And so I love hearing these origin stories. I honestly love listening to this, because it just seems like I mean, food is bringing people together. And I love that you remember certain aspects, right? Oranges, or the chicken noodle bowl, or the different things because just like when you listen to music, you know what you were doing. And certain times in history, when you're listening to that song, you're like, Oh, that was happening, this was happening. And so when I think of this, right, we wanted to get you to this really concise form of how racism on taught, kind of kind of just started, right. And we now know that this is where it was. Right? So we talked about before. And now we want to talk about where you're at now. And you kind of both in your bios are talking about you both as educators, thinking about PhDs, Terry's trying to get one Lisa's thinking about the future. Right, what's next. And you've now started to elevate this concept of racism on taught, or the actual idea of on teaching racism as a pedagogical practice, then move that into workshops, then you started making a toolkit. And now you started writing a book, or you wrote a book. How has that journey been? And did you think you would be writing a book? Was that always the plan?
No, I don't think it was ever the plan. Matter of fact, I will say, higher education was never the plan. For me anyway, things just happen. But I think like Lisa said, when we met when she invited me over to her campus to do that critique, and we started talking about, like, you know, all the things we were doing in our classes, and then we started talking about the bigger problem, which is like, why are we the only ones doing these things in our classes? And then from that question it spilled into then how do we make this thing that we're doing and accessible practice that folks can actually implement that there would be no excuse that the only black or the only people of color that are in your faculty are teaching about racism, but how can we provide resources like that, and that's where it spun into. And I think after doing these workshops, and then when you do workshops, you do articles, you write journals, and you write in people's chapters, and then they invite you to speak at these places. So we had so much content. And it just made sense. Like it was like a wheel that just kept growing and growing, and just moving downhill. And it just, you know, was speeding along. And now it's like, super speed right now. But like, it just we already had the content there.
I think also just acknowledging like the space and time that this was developed, this was in 2018, before the reckoning of May 2020, even after the murder of George Floyd, this was before this was when, like, this wasn't seen as real research. This was why are you wasting your time on this type of work? People who we know now who are, are in this in the same focus on the same things like, we're just getting started as well. And I think, because of the shift in May 2020, racism and stop and tart started with 30 different elements of racism, we now have over 80 different elements of racism. And by that, I mean, we have 80 different terms to define racism before we had 30. And that was, with both of us doing research and figuring out how can we really break down racism. Now we have over 80. And so initially, it started with with the the design research process, but what's happened to it is because of the process that we both appreciate, like the ambiguity and the comfort we have with ambiguity within the process, we took the opportunity to learn from over, you know, I think now, like 3000 participants in our workshops, with the different educators who have taught the research on that workshop and have given us feedback, when we ourselves have gone into the classroom and taught this, all of that information. Every time we do it, we learn something new. And we immediately implement it after we've had the chance to think it through. How can we format this. So even though it started in 2018, if you were to look at one of the things we talked about in the book is the way that it's transitioned over time. And I don't think even the point where we're at now is its final version. It's one of the versions. I don't think that either of us, Terry, you can tell me if I'm wrong, I don't usually like to speak for you. But I don't think either of us say that we're like the experts in racism. I think we're pretty good at talking about it. But we completely acknowledge that we are a part of a greater community of people who have to be a part of dismantling racism. And we think that we're to have those voices within that community.
And so I mean, when you think about that, and when you think about the people that you quote, in the book, that you highlight in the book, that you've been able to speak to and add to the conversation, right, like, I think it's great that you obviously, noticing that you're two voices who are part of this larger responsibility. Because when I look at it, you both were gracious enough to forward me an advanced copy of the book. Thank you very much. You're welcome. And when I was referencing some things, getting into this conversation, I noticed, one of the things I highlighted first was from Dr. Cheryl D. Miller, who wrote your forward. And she says, the creation, production of communication artifacts must be free radical lies, design, and stereotypical influences. The framework and toolkit teaches us to see ourselves first, before the creative process even begins. This struck me as a moment, and I want you to maybe explain a little bit more of that, because I think seeing yourself first before the process begins, is probably new for a lot of people.
Well, I am not Sheldon Miller, but I will speak for that one. See when I say she's such an amazing supporter of this project and this book, and we were so fortunate to have her writer forward. But when she speaks on that, that is like one of the foundational pieces of our work. As a designer, you know, you don't come in and oh, I know Photoshop, oh, I know, illustrator. Like, oh, I know things better than you. So I can make decisions. You come in at a foundational level, understanding your positionality understanding who you are first, in the context of whatever decision you're going to make. And then whatever decision you're going to make, that context that it's situated in, is definitely rooted in some type of systemic oppression. So you have to understand that because you have to understand then the impact that that's going to make in whatever decision you're making. And so positionality, I think has always been for us the base level of a class, I'll spend a week on positionality. We won't even get into the actual content and curriculum of the course because as an educator, I understand that you're we're growing human beings who will have impact on the world whether they are in front of their computer, creating something in Illustrator or they're at the grocery store in LA I'm treating the worker a certain way. That's the framework that I'm in. So if we can understand the positionality that folks have in wherever they're at whatever context that they're at, it begins to get them to question, every decision that they're making not just design decisions, but decisions as them just existing as a human being. And I think that is the most important piece, because when you design something, you're designing it for people who are just existing as human beings. So you have to be able to radical like, have that radical empathy. And that starts with understanding who you are. First, when we do
this in industry, we do the same exercise with our industry partners, our industry partners include Shopify Apple, Pay Pal, it doesn't matter who we're doing it with, whether it's our students, or our industry partners, they do the positionality exercise as well. And often people have worked together for years, if not more than 10 years, have never had these conversations about positionality with each other. And so we're introducing not just, we're breaking down ways of talking about each other in white supremacy culture, and say, let's try a new way of introducing ourselves to each other, that really shares who we are, who our socio cultural identities are, and how we acknowledge the ways that those identities intersect with systems of oppression, because we cannot start to break down that which we are not willing to recognize. And so once we start to recognize it, then we can dismantle it, then we can reimagine it in this radical way of thinking.
Nice. I think, Lisa, you mentioned it briefly, right after the murder of George Floyd and, you know, March of 2020, it seems really interesting. And I want to know, that as have those community partners started to increase because of that Apex moment. And how does it help them investigate their own cultures and biases within their systems?
I think it depends who we're working with one company that we work with slightly differently as Target and Target we work with where we trained for people. And then those four people in turn, then trained over 600 employees in their first year, and then 1200 vendors in their second year. And so we have a few different ways that are interacting with different industries, like one industry partner, we do one workshop a year, and each time that we've done it, the second time we did it, we were able to revisit their first workshop, and they wanted to reevaluate, did we actually do what we say we were going to do? We were able to dissect that further in the second workshop, which I think is a great way of working with a company like helping them see like, did we say what we were going to do? If we didn't? Why not? And how can we move forward, another industry partner that we've been working with his target, and we do the train the trainer program with them, where we trained for people, and then they in turn trained 600 individuals in their first year. And then the second year, they trained over 1200 vendors. And so I think it really depends on who we're working with. I don't know if you have anything dietary?
Yeah, I would say that there is definitely a difference. And I see this in my work. And as I'm like, I'm writing my dissertation. And I'm looking at the ways in which the Black Lives Matter movement, and the movement for black lives in general in Minneapolis has gained or garnered that support in 2020, and how it has dramatically decreased. Now that we're sitting here in 2023, the resources, the funds, the interest, the value that folks see in this type of work is not the same. And I think that's reflected in a lot of the policies that we're seeing coming out of the south, as someone from Texas, and my parents, and as well as my sister still work in higher education. All their di offices were fired. Like, there is a reason why, you know, we had this rising, and I think even X kendi says this in his books, like when there is racial progress, there is racist progress. So you know, you have Obama who's elected, and then you have 45, who has been elected after that. And so we have the uprising, we have this awakening this reckoning that folks are dealing with in 2020. And then you have, let's get rid of black history. Let's get rid of the LGBT history that we're teaching. Let's get rid of AP Psychology, right? Let's tell people that black people benefit from slavery. That's what we're seeing happening. And as much as I want to say that, yeah, the continued support of our work is still there. It's simply not, they don't feel the sting of the reckoning like they did in 2020. We were getting booked a lot more for workshops, a lot more for talks, people were seeing the value of the work that we did, and they saw it as this cutting edge thing, even like we said before, we started this way before 2020 people were seeing the value of it in 2020 and 2021. And we are booking a lot less now in 2023. And I can even say that from a business perspective, as someone who owns Blackbird revolt, and people thinking like yeah, Let's hire a black team, let's hire a POC team of designers to do our thing. They are not searching for that anymore because they don't feel the sting. Meanwhile, people of color still feel it.
Right. Right. I think that just that noticing of you know that three year difference of how people are dismantling it, but also it becomes numb to it. Right. I think that's one of the things that we tend to notice the oversaturation of just hearing that, and you start to just kind of go, it's the same thing. It's the same thing. But I'm glad that you're been working with community partners and businesses to start to train the trainer's and do that, because that is really important work. But at the same time, I think rooted back to what the reasons you all started, it is education. And like you said, Terry, the idea that we're growing people, right, and how we need to make sure that we intentionally start to shift the way they do things, because those are the people who are going to be doing more things later on. And so I recognize that shift needs to be made. It's one of the reasons why I do this podcast, and I focus on methodologies and, and the work that needs to be highlighted. Then you talk about pedagogical shifts. And so as we look back into the book, what ways does your book address the challenges of discussing racism and oppression, in courses, work environments, and community spaces that are usually not typically focused on when you talk about the DEI? Space? The problem
that I think we run into with doing this work is the convincing of its importance. I name an example I was in a meeting of leadership in the university that I'm in, and someone had asked a question like, you know, let's check in with your work like what's top of mind. And my leadership doesn't look like me, I'm, I'm the only black faculty member in the College. And so we went around this table, and everyone's mentioning, all these things that are top of mind, there was only two of us, who had mentioned the affirmative action out of like, you know, 20 Something people. And I think that is a reflection of the idea that white folks do not see themselves in the problem of racism, and systemic oppression, it's not something that's top of mind for them, because they don't have to directly deal with it that are not directly affected by it. And so in our work, what I find difficulty with is trying to convince folks that not only are you positioned in this to actually very expertly talk about this, because you and your ancestors have benefited from this thing for so long, you can really talk about it. But you also are affected as well, right? Like this system of racism affects everyone negatively, whether you'd like to think that or not. And so I think for me, the biggest problem is trying to convince folks that this is important. And then not only that, that you can teach in anti racist ways use anti racist curriculum, use pedagogical approaches that are anti oppressive, and teach design aesthetic at the same time. And this is something that I'm exploring in my dissertation is like, how do I teach from a lens of black liberation, and also affirm to the design industry and the Design Academy that you can still teach esthetics from that same ones.
So when I started teaching these concepts, I was really at the University of Illinois, I wasn't doing it as a fellow in grad school. I wasn't asking for permission. But I always like to talk about that. Because even though I wasn't asking for permission to do it, I was directly supported by my chair at the time, which was Eric Benson, the director of my school, Alan Edie, and the dean of my college, Kevin Hamilton. And I say that because they would show up on presentation day, to see what my students that work my students were doing. And I invited them and made sure that even though I wasn't asking for permission, I wasn't also in an environment where the expectation was to have had asked permission. And I think that's important to acknowledge, because I know many of my peers at different institutions have that weight on their shoulders. And so I feel really lucky that I get to work in that space with people who are willing to support not knowing exactly what the outcome of the student's work would be, given that it's a research process and anything would come of it, again, a grad student group in one of my classes, and they studied the hiring practices, like our school's hiring practices, and they sent out a questionnaire to all of the faculty to help figure out like, are we doing it in the most inclusive practice? And many of my peers at my institution responded and gave them such valuable information. They were able to create a project that really analyze our own hiring practices, and then helped give them valuable insight into that practice and how to make potential improvements or changes. And so I do appreciate the atmosphere being able to do it, we had one workshop with the University, where it just became state policy that they could not say, or talk about racism, or this idea, you know, those safe words I say we use like diversity, equity and inclusion, they couldn't talk about that. But yet their class was focused on these ideas. And within the same group that he this person was in, the dean of the school was also in there, or the college, I can't remember who they called it a school or college. And I said, Well, we have the dean here, let's figure it out. And it was a way from the prompt that they originally started. But that became more important than the prompts that we gave them initially. And so I think that's one thing that's been really interesting is figuring out how those state policies can greatly affect what we teach in our class, and how can we, as a community talk about doing that?
Right? I think those both of those points, having a space to not ask for permission, but just kind of do, I think, as designers, right is kind of that learning experience, right? learning from failure, just kind of see what happens and edit as we go along. And then, as Terry was mentioning, people understanding that they all benefit or are affected by these systems of oppression. And I think not understanding those things, and being privileged enough to not have it affect you is something that I think, is hard for people to self actualize. And I think that's why sometimes they tend to not put in the work, because it becomes a stigma against themselves, which, you know, obviously is very difficult for us to kind of admit, I think we as designers tend to have a little bit more thick skin, because we understand that you have to go through that a little bit. And when I read your book, right, it's really interesting, because I think Terry mentioned, right, it doesn't seem like you're trying to dismantle the design process, but you want to use it to dismantle the ideas and racist ideas and constructs, right. So it's like, it's like a meta version of itself, using it to break down it. And I think that's a really interesting thing. Because sometimes when I hear other people, there's so much of like, tear it all down and start from scratch. And I think, from reading the book, it's not that type of thing. It's about, well, we use it, and it works, but let's use it for something else. And when you think about this framework, right? The idea of context, define it a prototype and impact. Can you both describe or one of you? What are the foundational principles within that process, do you believe are really essential for disrupting normative design practices,
I want to get one thing clear, if something does need to be turned all the way down, we're gonna do that too. But there's actually examples of that in the process that you just read off, because the design research process originally starts off with this idea of empathy. And listen, I have been really intentional about not naming that first step empathy. Because if we wait for everyone to first start with empathy, and gain empathy for black people, for indigenous people, for people of color, they're gonna be at that first step for a day life. And that's not going to get us, you know, that's not going to bring us progress. And so what we've done is we have changed that first step to just, if you can understand contexts, and understand your positionality in that context, then we can move forward, empathy, runs the whole process, it runs the whole time, you don't just start on that one step, and then you leave it there. And then you, you know, continue with the second step, you start with context, but empathy also begins. And that stays with you, that empathy building. And then as we move through that you move into define, which is those methods and those theories, the way that we look at a theory is through a lens. So if you can essentially put on a pair of glasses to view a problem, that's what a theory is. And then methods, you know, of course, your way of doing and gathering data, then you move into the ideation process, and then into prototyping. And then the last step of the design research process, which is called tests, usually, we have renamed impact, because it's about our impact over our intention over good intentions over what we meant to do, we have to begin to measure the impact that we're having on communities for the things that we create. And throughout this process. I will say also that we've created specific design intervention. So we are definitely in this idea of dismantling the design research process, dismantling it and placing in anti oppressive, anti racist specific design interventions that will have you questioning what you are doing at each part of this step so that you can create an inclusive outcome that you can measure that will be positively impactful for our community.
Nice. I think the dismantling part is The important thing, but it's within the process, right? It's like, you know, which I think is really interesting because I mean, semantics people get so caught up in words in language, and what the word means versus, like you said, the context of what it's supposed to be talking about. Because they, they take it out of the situation and say word definition means this versus context changes everything. And I think that the fact that you're using these very open ended terms, allows people to lean into this with ways that they understand, right? Because I think if you use language that was, unfortunately, a little bit more liberating, or a little bit more anti racist, people would be a little bit walled off. And I think that's why when I read this, it doesn't seem like a forceful declaration, right? It seems for me as additive, start looking at these topics of liberation and anti racism in ways that you can start to add into these. And I think, I don't know who wrote it, but it's in the book, right. As designers, our creative ability is for us to give meaning collectively share stories in ways that invoke change and inspire action and advocacy for communities that have historically been underrepresented, under served, and under invested. I mean, when I read that I was like, a highlighter, like, 100 times, I was like, just keep on highlighting it on my iPad. So you know, doesn't get them then I wrote that I? Oh,
I'm pretty sure that was me, actually. So
I have to look back and see who like, you know, what's the footnote in there? Are you guys gonna start to change that? Like I wrote this? I wrote this note, every
time someone asks us a question, we're literally going to flip flop every time, it can be the same exact quote, and really, I'm really, we're literally just gonna flip flop. No, no,
no, I love it. I love it. But how do we start to as educators and advocates, how are we meant to utilize your toolkit and your book, because it's not a book about like, cool, I learned this and put it back on the shelf. To me, it is somewhat like a textbook where I'm supposed to revisit, re analyze, relearn something, try something different. Maybe go back and figure it out again, right? And keep on iterating, as I'm learning through this, right, but as the writers of the book, what's the intention that you want us to take away from this?
I think the intention has to be context, again, we definitely have a process that we walk participants through, whether it be our class, whether it be in an industry, workshop, or community workshop, and we're happy to share all of our materials, in certain ways with different people. But I also think the wonderful thing about this work is one way to move it towards like a, into a laboratory space, is to then learn from people who have access to the materials, and for them to turn to us and say, Hey, I did this with it. And it was amazing. And I want to know why. And I'm okay with it not having been my idea. Because then would it be amazing if we then shared it and it elevated? If we looked at the work like, and a way that we were able to elevate each other? Instead of saying no, no, that's not the intention, you did it wrong. You know, you're dismantling racism incorrectly. Like, I mean, if you're dismantling if your focus is to dismantle racism, and you're doing that in such a way where you are being laboratory in your own practice, to me, I want to hear about it, because that's exciting. We had one person invite us in for to debate the word racism. And I thought, Great, let's debate it, because that means that on a predominantly white institutions campus, we're debating the word racism. And I don't care if my definition of racism is different than your definition of racism, or that I use as a tool in this way and use the tool in that way. It means that we're creating a space for students to see this discourse, we're going to practice in front of them to disagree agreeably, and to find ways of having discussions around racism. And to me, it's, it's this bigger picture. I'm not as worried about how you're using this specific thing. Now, I will be worried about it, if you're using it in probably specific ways. I don't want to over generalize too much. But for the most part, I said, tell me how you're using it. I want to hear about the different ways.
I think for me, the thing that I'd like for folks to take away from the book is how we ended it, which is this idea around collective liberation. I want folks to know that collective liberation, much like Lisa has just stated can look so different. It can be so many things. There's so many paths to get there. And it does really require all of us to bring our ideas and bring our own own knowledge and lived expertise to the table when creating those things. But I want folks to be able to take the book and use the things in there that we've learned. And to add on to that in this conversation and in their own work, to be able to work toward that vision of collective liberation, and whatever that means for them.
Awesome. And I think that's something where you read that, you see that in the way the book reads, I love the idea that it kind of as a feedback loop. It's something like a working document where there is no definite, right or wrong. But I think that the fact that you're adding on to something, and learning from it, as like I said, us as people who can use the book, but also you as the writers have the book and the creations of the workshops, and the toolkits and all of that stuff, your willingness to go, Oh, we didn't see how you would use this. And tell me more. Because I think that also allows people to feel part of this dismantling process, because we learn is that there's so many absolutes where we can't be part of the process. And so people don't feel the need to share information. They don't feel the need to add on because people feel so well. That's it, I wrote the book, it's in print, it's or it's, it can't be adjusted. And I think just listening to you both talk is this thing where it's almost like improv, yes, and let's keep it moving. Let's keep it going. And once you do something, and I hear where you're doing based on my knowledge and insight, I can pivot move, adjust, and make adjustments and feel free to make adjustments, not feel constrained. And that's what I like to hear from just you. And also, that's how I feel when I read the book, it doesn't feel like oh my god, if I don't do these five steps, I'm not helping you dismantle racism, right? It doesn't feel that way. It feels like cool. I'm adding to this larger discourse, you are two of the many voices that are trying to do a lot of this work. And it's really just unfortunate. Like, I think we mentioned that after three years, the need and want for this is starting to Wayne. But the fact that we and we were all three of us are educators have the ability to start to inject this into the way we do our own practices. And we can affect those 1520 in every class that we do. And the fact that we do that it starts to spread. If I can make sure that somebody else questions and thinks about what they do before they do it. I'm winning, right? Like that's just kind of how we think we're doing that. And I really appreciate you taking us on this journey to start to figure out how we can start to utilize this in our own educational practices, creative practices, hiring practices. It's amazing. Thank you for that.
Thank you, George and in that same vein and spirit of adding on to and moving forward and transitioning. We're going to be transitioning now to our racism on top podcast within the Works in Process progress.
So we want to thank you George and the the listeners for joining listen i on the rest of my top podcast on this episode, which we'll be discussing our books introduction, because this is our first episode where we talking about acknowledging space, time and culture in the work.
So we're joined today by George gotta study and educator designer advocate and curator looking to elevate the creative process by shifting the focus to how we work over what we produce. George teaches design research and strategic problem solving at CUNY's NYC College of Technology, and hosting an award winning Works in Process podcast. The podcast is a platform to help highlight and showcase methodologies and approaches that veer from the norm.
And on this podcast, we are essentially having episodes that reflect the topics that we discussed in our book. So we have episodes of our introduction in our chapter ones, and Ford and all those things. And so this one is dedicated to our introduction, which is titled acknowledging space, time and culture. And I'll start off each sort of segment reading a quote from a chapter that either Lisa or I could have written the guesses yours. But talking about space in particular, in our book, we refer reference acknowledging space. One of the things I want to bring out is the work we engage with. It happens in a settler colonial system that continues to deprive indigenous people of access to their lands, and brings consistent epidemic wide violence. And when we talk about space, we talk about where we're located where we're sitting. She waited, and I am here in Minneapolis, and Dakota lands at sort of the place of racial awakening and reckoning that happened in 2020. And so then I'll move it over to Lisa to also talk about where she is at and acknowledge space. And we'll do the same of you, George.
I am recording today from the traditional ancestral and contemporary aliens of the Wampanoag, Massachusetts and piconet. And do you want to go ahead and say, the lands where you're at right now, George?
Sure. I am in New York City, technically, in Hoboken, New Jersey, and I believe New York and New Jersey are on Lenape lands out here. So giving space,
a nice and then immediately after acknowledging space, we like to acknowledge time. And so we're keenly aware that the meanings of words shift over time and culture, just like we were talking about earlier with the elements of racism, initially going from 30 elements to now we have over 70 elements, or 80, elements of racism. And we also acknowledge that these shift over culture, so this might look vastly different in a culture that we have not had the opportunity to engage with. And so we're, we love when people are able to engage with our work. And then also we in turn, learn from those who engage with us. And we try to put back into practice, what we're learning. And so that's why you might see iterations of the toolkit that's available for purchase, because we're constantly trying to iterate what we what we put out there.
And so with this idea about things shifting over time, and culture, I'm wondering how that shows up for you, George, in your own work, as we think about even the time line that we had described earlier about racism and taught, how has, you know, meanings of words, meanings of positionality, culture, all of that shifted in the time that you're in now.
I think the time that I started, this podcast is kind of maybe two years after I started teaching. And the idea of teaching as an integrative process was something that I constantly do. And it allows me to kind of build on what was successful or unsuccessful in some type of metric. And what you start to learn and see, shifting is one, my intentions, I think, is we talked about, obviously, self reflection and understanding where you fit in space. And I think that the initial parts of just doing this show was a way to highlight my friends, it was a way to kind of look at people who I thought were doing interesting things and share their knowledge. What shifted was the fact that as I started to get more comfortable with this interview process and learning that it's not just about highlighting the cool shit, it's about getting a little bit down and dirty. To understand why people really do what they do. I think I started to expand from my limited group of friends, to start to go out and say, Well, I'm noticing all of these people out in the world in the country, beyond New York, are doing such amazing things. People need to hear that. And it took a long time for me to just because that whole idea of as Natto, how do I reach out to you? I don't know you, but I know your work. And I appreciate what you do. And I think me starting to think about how that starts to fit in the larger conversation started to shift. I was no longer thinking about myself, I was thinking about my listener. And the same thing, I think about what I teach my students thinking about what they need. And when I start to teach a class, who's in the class, do I need to shift a little bit based on the amount of people of color of nod of who, you know, women men, thinking about all of that type of thing. So starting to allow myself to be okay with the shift is a really interesting thing that the podcast has allowed me to kind of hone a lot better, because now I start to actually kind of revel in that. And I think you mentioned it like the ambiguity part, that first day of class, you have no idea what you're walking into. And I think that's somewhat similar when I have these conversations. I have a framework, but I have no idea what the answers are going to be. And the answers change how I'm going to ask the next question. And so I think that change and the language part is that you're being more intentional with understanding that older types of languages are not okay. I sometimes you know, during their pandemic, we would like stream shows that you used to watch endlessly and just put them on right as almost like white noise. And now you look at them, they still may have some type of resonance with you, as far as like, oh, that's the The funny show, but now your lens is so different. You're like, that show can never get made today that show would never like, or they would never use that word. Right? So I think the idea of us learning and being self aware that that's not cool. And then challenging yourself to be like, Hey, you may have laughed at that joke. But now, don't like don't revert back to that older way of thinking and be thinking that it's okay to laugh at that, because you come from it from a new space 20 years ago, maybe we didn't know any better. And it was just now we do. And it's our intentions to change because now we do have that knowledge. So I think the shifts have been really interesting. And a lot of it has been self reflective in the way that I'm approaching some of the things that I do now. And I think that for me is, is kind of, I guess, it is liberating. And it's also invigorating, knowing that I'm allowed to change in the field. Okay, that changes is okay.
Yes, I'm really resonating with the flexibility that you're talking about in this idea of self awareness. Because who told us who gave us the narrative that you have to make a decision, and that has to be your decision for the rest of your life? That has to be your thought for the rest of your life, that has to be what you believe in for the rest of your life. Lisa knew me back when I like lead a church, and I didn't cuss, like, fuck that, Terry.
I was waiting, I was waiting for that F bomb that to drop.
But you know, like, like, who t old us that, like, you know, isn't that the sign of us becoming better as human beings for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, we have to be okay with that change and that flexibility. And I think when I talk about being an educator, and I talk about growing human beings, like we're growing their self awareness of who they are in the world that they're situated and and what that means for them, as they move about, you know, spaces. One of the other things that you talked about was this idea of being of shifting in the shifting process. And this idea of being uncomfortable. And I'm wondering how that has hit for you, in your time of shifting through this culture and time that we're in in space, like this idea of being uncomfortable? How have you been able to be comfortable in the uncomfortability?
I mean, I think as designers, right part of the practice is to practice to be more uncomfortable, in the sense where you're supposed to not know going in and allow your almost like, little bits of muscle memory that you have, because you've been trained, you've taught you've learned you've experienced allows you to kind of help dictate, Oh, this feels a little bit better. But the uncomfortable part is, I think the way we deal with it more so is knowing that it's okay. Like I think if you think it absolutes, then it makes the uncomfortable moments even more uncomfortable, because you're actually fighting against the norm. But if you start to really consider that the uncomfortability part is really what we're trying to master and just navigate that slightly better each time, I think of the process as just training, you play a sport or you work out or something, you do something over and over and over to get better at that specific thing. And if you start to do other things over and over over, you're getting better at multiple specific things. And you're learning that at one point, you may need this aspect, or this aspect. And the fact that you're actually broadening yourself to understand that I'm building and creating my ability to start to navigate different things a lot more quickly. Because I have that muscle memory, I have that intention. And I have that intuition to start to do that is what you need to build yourself for. If you only focus on one thing and one idea, when the inevitable challenge comes to you. You're not ready, or you're just too ready to be anti. Right, you're too ready to oppose because it's just not what you think. Instead of like I mentioned the yes and right, the ability to go, Okay, you're allowed to think what you think. But in addition, I'm also allowed to think what I think and it may be different, but at the same time, it may not be negating what you think it's just adding another definition. So we can expand it and say that we both can be saying the same thing, two different ways. And that's okay. Right. I don't like to say that we're right. Because to me, there's no correct form of this, but we're saying the same things in two different ways. And it's okay to have those two different definitions. And I think that process of shifting is to say that to be more open and aware, and when we think of the political climates that we're in and everybody has absolutes, I think people just want to feel right instead of feeling heard. And I think that's a very big difference. I want you to hear my point of view. And I want to hear your point of view. And we let's agree to disagree. But let's go grab a beer after and talk about it. I think that's something that people need to be more aware. So the shift is something that it just takes time. But I think you putting yourself in more uncomfortable situations more often, to get better at it. But I think if you don't feel uncomfortable, then you need to go to a different room that makes you uncomfortable, because then not when you're too comfortable, you don't move the needle anymore.
When we're in our workshops, I often ask people to like lean into that uncomfortableness. Why is it you're feeling uncomfortable? And what is it that you need to learn in that moment to actually like, pivot, you know, because I also think there's great value in acknowledging how our socio cultural identities are perceived when we're doing this work. So like, for me, as an individual, I have to acknowledge, for students to see me do this work, I'm mirroring something for them, that is important for them to see from somebody who has light skin, who they may not sure exactly what my ethnicity or races, but I could be more direct, and I am typically am more digestible for people because of who I am and who they perceive me to be. And so I think that's why it's so important for people to do this work from those different lenses, because then we can near the ability to pivot within that uncomfortable position that you're talking about. I think that's such an important point. Which brings us to then our last step in the preface, which is culture.
So in this idea around culture, and we've talked about this previously, just in this podcast about the culture shift that happened after May of 2020, and the murder of George Floyd. And there are so many things happening right now, in our culture. And I'm wondering how that is showing up for you in your work. George, are there specific things that you can talk about as we acknowledge culture, even where you're positioned in the culture? How is that affecting your ability to engage in this work?
When I think of culture I think of it's multifaceted. I think Lisa talks about culture and being light skinned, and you know, and that becomes like, a somewhat of a your identity. That way, I think of as we celebrate the 50 years of hip hop, that's the only thing I know, that's culture, right, the idea that black and brown or underrepresented people created something out of a lamppost in the Bronx, allows them to now have this multi trillion dollar industry that is driving culture, I think one of the things I've intentionally made choices is the fact that I bring my, like, hip hop NISS, to my classes to when I present something, I'm wearing a Yankee hat today, I'm usually wearing a Yankee hat. And I think it's part of my identity to say, not that I'm from New York, but I'm able to navigate and be part of two different things at the same time, I'm going to be able to talk to you about something really important, but I'm also maybe look and dress in a way that feels more comfortable for me, because allows me to stay true to who I am. And those two things can exist at the same exact time, like we've mentioned, and I think, but culturally, where I teach is an HSI predominantly, maybe over 87%, minority serving institution. And so I am a product of where my students came from in high school. I am a product of that same education system, I'm a product of going to school right after that I'm a product of being just an extension of high school, and what am I actually learning I'm, I'm a product of maybe not knowing exactly what the hell I wanted to do. But knowing that college was the thing, because if I didn't go, then you wouldn't do something after it. You just had to be somewhere else. So you can be doing something. And so I think I understand the limitations or how students show up in a classroom, and kind of questioning and understanding and trying to figure out where they fit in this world. And as we just mentioned, it's getting more difficult. It's getting a lot more crazy. And I think that we're here to one, help them navigate that and part of that is them feeling comfortable, then feeling comfortable with coming to you with a non school related question. them feeling comfortable with asking how do I navigate this situation? And I know I shouldn't really be asking you, but I appreciate your honesty or your candor. I think one of the things I do is the ability for try to break down walls, right. I feel them a sometimes a difficult educator in the sense where I know where they need to be. And it's hard for me to see where I see potential to be like, Man, you You're almost there. But I also know that they respect that. And students are willing to work with professors who don't just on a surface level, just be like, I need you to do this project, maybe at your place in time. It's not about the project right now. But I think the culture is just the ability to understand where my students are at and what they need, and not really focus on too much of harping on identity, on things like that, because I think they're, for where my students are at. They're not thinking of that. But the more I can start to sprinkle that in that it's okay to talk about that. It's okay to be doing those things, it's okay to start to think about why you exist as a queer female in a design world. If that's something you want to talk about, let's talk about it. And also, what I love is that I've met so many other people who fall in lines and are those that at least I can help navigate for somebody to talk to that person, right, I'm not going to be the best person to talk about that, obviously. But I may know people who are willing to talk to those people. And I think that's one of the things I really love about doing this show. And having this and having these connections. And Lisa and me seen each other for a different educator events, and Terry, and we, you know, at a dei events back and right, so like we have different entry points, and realizing that we're all still kind of in that same realm. And the fact that I know more people than I can be like, Hey, I know it's gonna be hard for you. But we can ask this XYZ person to talk to you because their positionality is exactly where you're at. And you may need that support, that the only way I can give you support is to offer suggestions and guidance. And so for me, culture is a very different thing. Because I also straddle different identities. As far as in New York, I can be looked at as Italian I can be looked at as Greek I can be looked, my name is also a basket name that everybody thinks is from a different country. So I think it's one of these things where they don't know where to put me. And they go, Oh, you're that, right. And I'm like, why don't want to be the Oh, you're that as well as look at me as me. And all the other things are ancillary. They're all part of me. But I don't want that to be my definition. So it's a really interesting thing, I think of culture is slightly different. Maybe then how we tend to always talk about it.
So leave a question that we've been ending each podcast with. So if I can ask you to think without, like these realistic boundaries, don't without worrying about like money, or politics aside, if you had to describe what collective liberation look like for you, what would that look like?
heavy hitting questions. Now, at the end, Lisa, come on. What is collective liberation, I think collective liberation is, for me, the amplification of the little person. And what I mean is that, and we all know this in our field, the amplification of the creative who's been doing this, rightfully so for a long time, gets trumped over the people who are on the come up, and have been figuring out new ways to hack and hustle their way into this, the same industry. So we tend to hear, like even the books that we read, the same thing being iterated over and over and over and over. And I really feel that that repetition of sameness is really boring. Doesn't mean I don't want to hear it. I'm a fan of all of these huge designers, I appreciate the hell out of their work. But at the same time, if you've been in the industry for 30 years, and you've been killing it, I need you to make room, I need you to amplify other people, I don't need you to have somebody else ride your coattails to take the next level, I need us to start to shift away from design celebrity. Because in reality, when you even think of the the high end design schools, they don't produce the same amount of people that these community colleges, and at these lower universities who have the same exact design programs, those programs produce probably 70% More of the actual designers who will be in the industry versus these high end people who are the top 1% 10%. But we only focus on those people. And we don't focus on the 70% of the 80% of the people who are actually going to be affected communities, working with their local brands to create, you know, ideas and elevating those design processes and how they were able to learn from those things. We don't talk about that as much and so we set our sights for perfection, which is really impossible to achieve. So if we start to set our sights on reality and start to realize that the person next door who could be doing something really interesting, but you don't even know about them, because they're just, you know, like a traditional designer, we don't talk about our stuff, we do the work, the brand speaks for itself. Thank you very much I get, right, I think we need to talk about more of those people. So that our students, or the industry starts to see that those people and the way they work, let's learn from the multiplicity of those people, versus the sameness of the high end people.
I love your definition of that, especially as a relates to our industry. So before I ask you, what's next, let me just tell our listeners what's next for racism. On top, we have quite a few episodes after this one, we have eight additional ones that go over chapters and sections of the racism on top book. So you can expect those each week after this podcast is released. So ending our episode. George, what's next? where can folks find you? How can they connect with you? What's going on? Yeah, so
I mean, right now, I think for 2023, this will be one of my final podcasts in the sense of, we're taking a break, me and my strategic development partner, or Szyflingier, we're going to look at the last six years of the Works in Process podcast, and start to break down what we've done already, and what's been successful, and try to think about ways that we need to give out content. I think, as a podcast, it's great to have these beautiful conversations and leave it on, you know, one of our podcast players, but I think there's much more value to start to give context to these conversations, and give a perspective of why this conversation makes sense. What kind of takeaways are you going to gather from listening to this episode, and start to give people a more exact reason to listen to my guests, especially since my guests tend to be not the big names that you're looking to hear and you know exactly what they've been doing. So we can start to learn how to break down episodes and give people a, a way to listen. Also, I've been challenging the way education thinks about podcasting as an actual research practice. Because institutions don't understand that. And so I'm trying to use this research to start to think about, well, how can we use this to determine how people use podcasting as an appropriate research methodology, or as an appropriate way for them to do their own research. So we're looking into those things. Because then if we give people ways to break down podcast or conversations, they may actually use these and cite these in their papers in their dissertations, right, instead of just using it in a way where it's cool was a good thing to listen, you may be able to use a quote or an insight and share this specific thing that was only an audio format, and make it part of your dissertation and say this is part of our research practice. And that is one of the things I think we're trying to do. So we're taking a break. We're doing a lot of research, we have a survey coming out for educators, students, and also industry professionals. So it's going to be a lot of reflective moments right now.
Wonderful. And we're saying I think in that same vein of being reflective, so listeners, and George especially thank you so much for joining, listen, I the racism and taught podcast, we look forward to seeing you all out there doing the work supporting you in whichever way we can.
Well, I want to thank both Terry and Lisa, for this collaboration and having me co host or coming racism on top podcast. As we heard today, educators and people in the industry can start to think about ways to dismantle these oppressive structures, think about how design can be liberatory and actually focus on doing the work that needs to happen, and growing people who start to think about these ideas first, instead of later. The Works in Process podcast is created by me, George Garrastegui, Jr. The content and transcriptions have been reviewed by or Szyflingier. And this episode has been edited by RJ Basilio. You can find the Works in Process podcasts on all media platforms such as Apple, Spotify, Google and more. And if you liked the episode, feel free to give us a five star rating on Apple podcasts or Spotify. And if you're feeling extra generous, go ahead, write us a review. But also just describe on whatever platform you're listening to, and you'll be up to date when the next episode drops. Follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn to stay on up to date on new releases. I appreciate you taking the journey with me. And I hope that you really enjoyed this conversation. And until next time, remember your work is never final. It's always a Works in Process.