Click to download writings from the Design Studio For Social Intervention:

DS4SI--Overview: What We Do.
The designer’s stance is experimental and proactive. It helps propel us beyond merely addressing existing problems with existing forms into imagining entirely new terrains of possibility. Equally important, design invites widely disparate ways of knowing into a single co-creative practice. This paper covers some of the ways the Design Studio does our work.


Spatial Justice: A Frame for Reclaiming our Rights to Be, Thrive, Express and Connect

Space is currently functioning as one the most important resources for the expression of disapproval and outrage in this political moment. We are convinced that we can use it even better. This paper outlines our ideas for that, as well as putting them in the historical context of spatial justice and injustice.


Who Shall Occupy Make Demands Of? The Modern Case of the One-Eyed Monster

One of the biggest critiques being made of the Occupy movement is that it has no demands. If, however, we take the standpoint that Occupy functions in an interventionist mode—if we see it as an Occupy moment rather than an Occupy movement--we see that its refusal to issue demands is part of the beauty of it.


Institutional Obesity: A Contextualized Approach to Understanding Childhood Obesity
Frames like childhood obesity seem so simple, even sympathetic, and yet in reality are complex and dangerous. They insidiously focus on the individual—blaming, sympathizing, protecting, horrifying—as if any body (or problem) is the cause of itself. They invariably turn to institutions only in the context of solving problems, rather than causing them.


 Horizontal Strategies for Shifting Cultures from Within and Reducing Social Violence
We want to share what we’ve learned about deploying horizontal strategies in these situations. By horizontal strategies we mean solutions that are designed and deployed by the population which is experiencing the problem, and which are targeted towards creating widespread change within that population.



 Five S Methodology for Designing Social Interventions
Structure, System, Scale, Symbol and Sensation make up the Five S research methodology we use as the first step in designing effective social interventions.




Beyond Anti-Bullying Legislation
If emergent behavior like bullying is to be reduced, it requires a commensurate amount of horizontal strategy because bullying is a form of horizontal violence. If emergent behavior like bullying is to be reduced, it requires a commensurate amount of horizontal strategy because bullying is a form of horizontal violence.



Cultural Geography and Place-Based Problem Solving
This document is meant to help social justice practitioners figure out the extent to which a social problem they face is enmeshed in the place they are  trying to address it.




Art and Activism - A Case Study
We feel artists are critical to social justice work because art works with symbols, and artists understand how people, communities and cultures use symbols to make collective meaning. Understanding this aspect of social life makes it possible to work within it as a point of leverage for social change.



What We Learned from YADI's Big Urban Games
DS4SI designed and led large-scale adaptations of childhood street games like 4 square, hopscotch, taps and tug-of-war with over 200 youth and passers-by of all ages in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain, exploring the potential for intervening on social violence using unexpected tools like play, spectacle and delight.



Rendering the Invisible Visible: Cultural Architecture & Predatory Planning...
Predatory planning is the intentional process of dispossession enacted through the simultaneous use of multiple, often globally powered, redevelopment tactics in the wake of trauma.