Developing the Principles

We collaboratively developed and deployed the anti-racist design principles based on our readings of these and other key texts in the sociology of race and the social studies of technology. Developing the premises, we sought to turn anti-racist premises into technology- and design-oriented action; to transform a sensibility toward observations of the social construction of race and racialization into a premise for design intervention.

  • Kendi, Ibram X. 2019. How to Be an Antiracist. One World Press.
  • Benjamin, Ruha. 2019. Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. Medford, MA: Polity Press.
  • Noble, Safiya Umoja. 2017. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York: New York University Press.
  • McIlwain, Charlton D. 2019. Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter. Oxford University Press.
  • Bonilla-Silva, E. 1997. “Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation.” American Sociological Review 62 (3): 465–80.
  • Hill Collins, Patricia, and Sirma Bilge. 2016. Intersectionality. Key Concepts Series. Cambridge, UK ; Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Drawing from Critical Technical Practice

We tried to make these premises actionable by bringing antiracist thinking into conversation with scholarship in critical technical practice. CTP scholars develop tools and resources for building “against the grain,” developing technologies that question and trouble underlying assumptions. If existing technologies are racist, and sit amidst racializing structures in society, then building antiracist technologies requires the critical technical practitioner’s toolkit of subverting, inverting, and confronting social orders. Key departure points for us include:

  • Agre, Phil. 1997. “Toward a Critical Technical Practice: Lessons Learned in Trying to Reform AI.” In Social Science, Technical Systems, and Cooperative Work: Beyond the Great Divide, 131–58. Computers, Cognition, and Work. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Sengers, Phoebe, Kirsten Boehner, Shay David, and Joseph “Jofish” Kaye. 2005. “Reflective Design.” In , 49. ACM Press.
  • Knobel, Cory, and Geoffrey C. Bowker. 2011. “Values in Design.” Communications of the ACM 54 (7): 26–28.
  • Friedman, Batya, and David Hendry. 2019. Value Sensitive Design: Shaping Technology with Moral Imagination. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • DiSalvo, Carl. 2012. Adversarial Design. Design Thinking, Design Theory. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  • Bødker, Susanne, and Morten Kyng. 2018. “Participatory Design That Matters: Facing the Big Issues.” ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 25 (1): 4:1-4:31.

Collaborating Labs

To ground these projects, we collaborated with and drew inspiration from the following research centers at Princeton:

Synergistic Projects

We brought and continue to bring our premises into extended conversation with a wide range and expanding community of justice-oriented projects in design, sociology of technology, and in HCI. Of particular inspiration for this project were:

  • Scholars and scholarship from the Center for Critical Race and Data Studies
  • Harrington, Christina, Sheena Erete, and Anne Marie Piper. 2019. “Deconstructing Community-Based Collaborative Design: Towards More Equitable Participatory Design Engagements.” Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 3 (CSCW): 216:1-216:25.
  • Erete, Sheena, Aarti Israni, and Tawanna Dillahunt. 2018. “An Intersectional Approach to Designing in the Margins.” Interactions 25 (3): 66–69.
  • Ogbonnaya-Ogburu, Ihudiya Finda, Angela D.R. Smith, Alexandra To, and Kentaro Toyama. 2020. “Critical Race Theory for HCI.” In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–16. CHI ’20. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Rankin, Yolanda A., Jakita O. Thomas, and Nicole M. Joseph. 2020. “Intersectionality in HCI: Lost in Translation.” Interactions 27 (5): 68–71.
  • Dombrowski, Lynn, Ellie Harmon, and Sarah Fox. 2016. “Social Justice-Oriented Interaction Design: Outlining Key Design Strategies and Commitments.” In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 656–71. DIS ’16. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Erete, Sheena, and Jennifer O. Burrell. 2017. “Empowered Participation: How Citizens Use Technology in Local Governance.” In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2307–19. Denver Colorado USA: ACM.
  • Tran O’Leary, Jasper, Sara Zewde, Jennifer Mankoff, and Daniela K. Rosner. 2019. “Who Gets to Future?: Race, Representation, and Design Methods in Africatown.” In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–13. Glasgow Scotland Uk: ACM.
  • Costanza-Chock, Sasha. 2020. Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.