Activism Art and Design

Politicized Design: escaping oppressive systems with participatory movements

Watched Politicizing Design from the Grassroots by Bibiana Oliveira SerpaBibiana Oliveira Serpa from Futuress

Drawing from popular activist movements in Latin America, this talk explores the possibilities for the politicization of design.

In her PhD thesis that she recently defended for the Design program of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (ESDI/UERJ) in Brazil, Bibiana delved into her experiences as an active member of different civil society grassroots movements to reveal some of the political, ethical, and practical issues that permeate the transformative action of these collectives.

Through Militant Research Methodology and inspired by her action in the fields of popular education and feminism, she traced paths for a possible politicization of the Design field. In this conversation, Bibiana shares some of the lessons she learned from this journey, articulating four axes she considers crucial for the politicization of Design: ontology, epistemology, practice, and content.

Presented by Bibiana Serpa, a PhD visual designer from Brazil

Design & Opressão (Design and Oppression Network)

Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras

What is militant research?

  • aims to educate people politically
  • participatory — cannot only research
  • acts in the “context of discovery” not “context of justification” — not seeking to support an existing theory, but to learn
  • always collective

Process of politicization

social movements are self-educating and self-transforming –> politicization

politicization = political learning — “a relational and experiential process”

Art and Design

List of Brazilian graphic designers and illustrators

Bookmarked Brazilians Who Design (

A repository to celebrate the work of talented Brazilian designers and showcase it to the world.

Comics Fantasy History

Read New World

Read New World

The discovery of the Americas forever changed the landscape of the world as cultures collided with violent consequences. New World weaves the stories of three characters from unique backgrounds—a Native Indian seeking revenge against those who invaded her land, an African musician fighting for freedom against those who enslaved him, and a Portuguese sailor in search of redemption. These three unlikely heroes, connected by fate, will work together to free the New World from the darkness of the old.

Simple but expressive artwork, with vivid color used effectively. Iracema is a great lead character for the story. Some metaphors I get (monsters as disease), there might be more I’m missing or maybe those elements are just magical realism.

Stunning cover.

Art and Design

Adobe Max: Breaking Systems

Watched How to (Properly) Break Your Design System from Adobe

Learn why a design system is central to designing digital products and user experiences and when and how to break that system to make your work more inspired.

Great presentation.

Bauhaus principles:

  • Form follows function – everything has a purpose
  • Total work of art – designer is responsible for the totality of the project
  • Machines / technology needed for mass production

Technology allows work to scale – but scale is a blessing and a curse

Ginga (pronounced “jinga”) – cool way of moving, freely, loosely – Brazilian term

I think I need to look at some more Brazilian design, his examples are cool 🤔 Reminder it’s important to look outside of the familiar, not get stuck in European and American centric design.

“When we build, let us think that we build forever.” – John Ruskin

How can we refuse oblivion? How can we bring more eternal qualities to the digital products we ship?” – Fabricio Teixeira


  • Deviate with a purpose
  • Don’t silo UX and UI, everything should work together “to deliver magical moments”
  • Bring tech into every step
  • Leave room for serendipity

“Signature moments”

Book rec: