Announcing the Just Transitions Initiative

With Matilde Córdoba Azcárate (Comm) and Manuel Schvartzberg Carrió (Urban Studies and Planning), we are forming the Just Transitions Initiative (JTI) in the Design Lab. JTI supports innovation in design and organization towards more just and democratic futures, tackling geopolitics from below. We work towards just transitions by integrating analyses of labor, ecology, and social systems, including racial capitalism and settler colonialisms. We center and strengthen existing social movements. Our approach addresses transition as a social and ecological process, and design as a process that is political in its concern for transforming collective conditions of living. We consider global warming, infrastructure, housing, policing, food, and livelihoods as within our ambit. Transitions in these systems must build from existing situated knowledges and practices to address co-constitutive technical, social, and political dimensions. JTI experiments with new forms of inquiry and intervention, convening and supporting collective projects that can earn trust in a time when many are skeptical of ‘experts.’ Forging new paths for research, JTI operates within and beyond the fields of design, human-computer interaction, urbanism, and architecture. Finally, JTI recognizes that political agency is essential to any strategy of design intervention and seeks ways to repair disenfranchisement.

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