Dark Matter University: Lessons in Anti-Racist Design Pedagogy



Dark Matter University (DMU) is a democratic network guided by the principle that we cannot survive and thrive without immediate change toward an anti-racist model of design education and practice. The organization was founded in the summer of 2020 to work inside and outside of existing systems to challenge, inform, and reshape our present world toward a better future.

In this session, members of the DMU collective will share one year’s worth of teaching experiences and efforts bringing new design education models to academic institutions all over the U.S. and Canada to better acknowledge and address the structural legacies of racial injustice. The courses that will be presented vary from introductory courses, to advanced seminars, to design studios. Unifying these efforts is a commitment to collectivity: each course is taught by at least two educators and experiments with cross-institutional, transdisciplinary learning environments that advocate for expanded criteria for success. The courses we will discuss have taken place at University at Buffalo, Carleton University, Drexel University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, University of Michigan, Tuskegee University, The University of Utah, and Yale University.

Join us as we learn together how to acknowledge, understand, and radically change racial injustice in the built environment.

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