Rute Pereira Crespo Fiadeiro (RCA) - 2020-21 Students

A conversation between design and intimate partner violence

This PhD offers a critical engagement with designs implication in the (re)invention and (re)production of gendered structures. The research explores this by focusing on intimate partner violence (IPV) in humanitarian settings. IPV is the most common form of gender-based violence and includes all forms of violence and abuse experienced in private spaces (but not exclusively) in people’s households and from someone known to them. Applying design to this context could help bring awareness, support recovery and more. In design, we have seen a growing interest in designers seeking to work on social issues such as climate change and homelessness. Here, through taking inclusive design process’ of including people in situations of vulnerability in the design process, designers aim to develop meaningful design interventions that address social issues. Yet, when designing in IPV contexts, including people in the design processes may pose challenges due to the normalisation of violent behaviours and risks of re-traumatisation. The mainstream design paradigm, as it stands, is not suitable for these circumstances. What can we learn through developing a dialogue between design and intimate partner violence? The research explores the reconfiguration of design through its engagements in IPV.

Primary supervisor: Dr John Stevens, RCA
Secondary supervisor: Prof Jo-Anne Bichard, RCA

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