Design Justice Network Principles


This is a living document.

Design mediates so much of our realities and has tremendous impact on our lives, yet very few of us participate in design processes. In particular, the people who are most adversely affected by design decisions — whether they relate to visual culture, the planning of our communities, or the structure of political and economic systems — tend to have the least influence on those decisions and how they are made.

Design justice rethinks design processes, centralizing people who are normally marginalized by design and using collaborative creative practices to address the deepest challenges our communities face.

We prioritize a design’s impact on a community over the intentions of the designer.

The strongest solutions happen through the process, not in a moment at the end of the process. Thus it is important to us to open up the design process to those who will be most impacted by its outcomes.*

We use design to dismantle structures that marginalize, dehumanize, subjugate, and oppress others while centralizing voices that are most marginalized by institutional racism, patriarchy, and colonization.

We are reimagining the role of a designer as that of a creative facilitator rather than a creative expert.

We believe in innate human brilliance. Everyone has the capacity to contribute in unique ways to design processes, and all people are experts in their own experiences.

We undertake in processes that are transparent and accessible, that are led by the needs of the community, and that result in community ownership of the outcomes.

We are not just creating new solutions — we are looking for ways to adapt what is already working in other contexts as well as reviving ancient approaches that have been erased by colonialism and capitalism.

We use design processes not just to address problems linked to various forms of injustice, but to build community, to heal, to experience joy, and to bring our visions of the future to life.

We share design knowledge and demystify technologies.

We are finding low-resource, non-extractive solutions that enhance our connection to the earth.

* Adapted from


Read how these principles were developed.