Our Approach

Liberatory Design


What is liberatory Design

We believe that racism and inequity have been designed, and thus can be redesigned. In order to do that, we need a radically different approach to design, one rooted in sharing power, recognizing oppression, embracing complexity, and centering those most impacted by inequity. We co-created a new form of design called Liberatory Design which combines the innovative potential of design thinking, the systemic lens of complexity theory, and the healing powers of equity practices to do this work. We believe Liberatory Design can foster more liberating experiences for the individual, team, community, and system. Liberatory Design is a combination of Mindsets that guide how we see the world and act within it and Process which offers tangible tools to bring equity to life.


Founding Team

Liberatory Design emerged through a collaboration between Tania Anaissie (Beytna Design Founder), David Clifford, Susie Wise, Victor Cary, and Tom Malarkey, and their respective organizations, the Stanford University d.school and National Equity Project. David, Susie, and Tania, as designers, wanted to rethink design thinking as they felt it was not equipped to address complex challenges of inequity, address root causes, or equitably practice power sharing. Victor and Tom, the equity leaders, were craving a way to support others to take meaningful action towards equity.

David Clifford first coined the name “Liberatory Design” and developed the addition of Notice and Reflect.

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We offer these set of cards as introduction to the Liberatory Design Process.

Liberatory Design Process. The core of the process and key questions to ask in each phase.

Liberatory Design Mindsets. These guide how we see the world and how we work, starting on the individual level but also on our team, in our communities, with our partners, and ultimately within systems we wish to redesign.

Liberatory Design Do Nows. Small actions you can take now to practice Liberatory Design, designed for educators at SXSWedu 2017

We are currently building Version 2, stay tuned.