Sasha Costanza-Chock
Sasha Costanza-Chock (pronouns: they/them or she/her) is a scholar, activist, and media-maker, and currently Associate Professor of Civic Media at MIT. They are a Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Faculty Affiliate with the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Center for Civic Media, and creator of the MIT Codesign Studio. Their work focuses on social movements, transformative media organizing, and design justice.

Sasha’s first book, Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets: Transmedia Organizing and the Immigrant Rights Movement was published by the MIT Press in 2014. They are a board member of Allied Media Projects (AMP); AMP convenes the annual Allied Media Conference and cultivates media strategies for a more just, creative and collaborative world.

Design Justice

Design is key to our collective liberation, but most design processes today reproduce inequalities structured by what Black feminist scholars call the matrix of domination. Sasha will talk about Design Justice, a field of theory and practice that is concerned with how the design of objects and systems influences the distribution of benefits and burdens between various groups of people. Design justice focuses on the ways that design reproduces, is reproduced by, and/or challenges the matrix of domination (white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, capitalism, and settler colonialism). Design justice is also a growing social movement that aims to ensure a more equitable distribution of design’s benefits and burdens; fair and meaningful participation in design decisions; and recognition of community based design traditions, knowledge, and practices. They will conclude with the Design Justice Principles, developed by an emerging network of designers and community organizers, and invite people to get involved.


Panel: In All the Right Places

In her recent book How to Do Nothing, the artist Jenny Odell writes about what Hannah Arendt calls ‘spaces of appearance’, which were, for Arendt, defined by collections of people who speak meaningfully together. For Odell, it is a space where she is 'addressed, understood and challenged'; spaces of appearance are places where ‘we gather, we say what we mean, and then we act’. In this panel discussion, we’ll talk about how these kinds of spaces are being created both online and in the real world, and how they might be utilized at a time where there is a critical need for consensus and community action. Moderated by Jeremy Thorp.