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The Center for Complexity

On Reparative Justice and Expanding on Social Equity & Inclusion: A Report

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On Reparative Justice and Expanding on Social Equity & Inclusion: A Report

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Table of Contents Executive Summary Contextualization Where the Current Conversation Began - Black Artists and Designers (B.A.A.D.) Where the Conversation was Recognized - the SEI Action Plan Where the Center Currently Meets the Conversation on SEI Where the Center Currently Meets the Conversation-Sparking Remarks Where the Center’s Ethos Currently Stands

Recommendations How the Center Should Further the Conversation on SEI How the Center Should Further Their Addressal of Conversation-Sparking Remarks Where Resource Redistribution Can & Should Occur Where Community Engagement Can & Should Occur Where the Center’s Ethos & Cultures of Practice Can & Should Stand Where the Center Must Do Work, From Complexity & Social Equity Research Fellow 2019

Foreseen Impact References and Resources Appendix of Internal Documents, Reprinted

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Executive Summary This report was commissioned by Tim Maly on behalf of the Center for Complexity from Sruti Suryanarayanan in their role as the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019. Under this fellowship, they were expected to work with the Center for Complexity’s staff to find opportunities for the integration of Social Equity and Inclusion Principles (from a RISD created document) into the Center’s work. Thus, over the course of their summer, the Fellow engaged in a variety of different conversational, pedagogical, and analytical endeavors which related directly to the Center’s treatment of justice, equity, and inclusion. The original intent of the Fellowship was for Sruti to propose ways of interacting with the local community in ways that were equitable; however, the course of their summer and their experiences led to the creation of this report, which not only make those proposals, but also explicitly define where the Center is actively inequitable for its collaborators. This report has been written with the intent of being used as the primary guideline for the Center’s coming years, and as well as with the intent of being published publicly, to hold both the Center and RISD accountable for the promises it has made and information it has  received.

The current movement for Social Equity and Inclusion at RISD began with the call for action, as organized by B.A.A.D. (Black Artists and Designers) and other allies. This student organization worked with the rest of the community to organize a protest, Not Your Token, to which administration responded by creating an action plan on how the university would address its exclusive and inequitable policies, programming, and initiatives. At the moment, the Center is doing well with the recommendations proposed by the Social Equity and Inclusion Action Plan. However, this SEI Action Plan in itself does not fully address the issues raised during Not Your Token; thus, it is not a fair gauge of how the institution, its administration, and its offices confront the needs of its student constituents. When compared to the demands made by B.A.A.D., the Center fails to meet a core number of points raised by the community. Thus, this report not only provides context on how to improve on its current relationship to the SEIA Plan, but also create a solid relationship with the demands and needs of Not Your Token, B.A.A.D., and the larger student body. It is imperative that the Center addresses where it currently fails to meet the basic expectations of students and administration. These are building blocks for the ethical success of this office and all those who interact with it. Included in these recommendations for more sustainable relationships are suggestions for resource redistribution across various community groups; critical community engagement in multiple formats and venues; and a recommended outward facing declaration of this approach. Past the recommendations, there is a list of demands, specifically from the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019, for what the Center must do, and where its most serious missteps are occuring. These demands are specific calls for actions that address the problematics of the

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Center’s essential identity, and do not specifically deal with the physicality of the Center. They are ethical guidelines for the range of work that the Center wishes to work with. They are as follows:

THE CENTER MUST...

—— Discuss, draft, and publish a statement condemning white supremacy and its perpetrators. —— Discuss, draft, and publish a statement committing the Center for Complexity and all of its members, supporters, and collaborators to decolonization: namely, the removal of all people’s reliance on white, hetero-patriarchal, and/or capitalist systems of organization and hierarchy. —— Discuss, draft, and publish statements that denounce design and art in american- and euro-normative communities for their reliance on white, hetero-patriarchal, and/or capitalist epistemologies, canons, and forms of knowledge. —— Design and develop all appendix items as teaching guides for instructors, as research guides for staff, and as inclusion guides for collaborators; compensate the original content creators of these guides for their labor. —— Work with financial administrators to develop an equal wage system for all full-time employees of the Center, in which yearly salaries are the same across the organization. —— Work with financial administrators to develop an equal wage system for all part-time employees, collaborators, and invitees, in which hourly wages are as far from minimum wage as possible. —— Hold all corporate sponsors accountable for their missions by publicly stating these companies actions (financially, physically, intellectually, or otherwise) on the Center for Complexity’s website and other digital platforms. —— Refuse to collaborate with or take sponsorship from any organizations who derive their revenue from or support: the exploitation of womxn of color; the destruction of the environment temporarily or otherwise; the silencing of advocacy campaigns; any racist, casteist, sexist and/or homophobic actions within two years of the relationship being initiated; further the dependency of people of color, people with disabilities, or LGBTQIA+ people on any institutions. —— No longer cite a single white man in any initiatives. —— Cease to cite people from euro- and american-normative communities once they have been referenced thrice. —— Focus on citing contemporary makers, advocates, and inquirers of color. —— Ensure that all committees that the Center interacts with have a constituency in which people of color outnumber white people. —— Enroll all full-time staff in racial equity training, namely, those presented by the Government Alliance for Racial Equity. —— Review the retainment of full-time staff for each year of their tenure.

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—— No longer hire any white men for any initiatives or even temporary collaboration. —— Formally address the Center’s relationship to fostering mental unhealthiness for its femme fellows and fellows of color either through financial compensation or another method agreed to or chosen by the fellow. —— Compensate the Fellows of 2019 financially for the lack of support with regards to mental wellbeing.

When properly adopted and critically analyzed, this report should allow for the Center for Complexity to be an ethical administrative office at RISD, while acting as a beacon to other design thinkers across the world. Such is no easy feat: the Center must recognize the inabilities, powerlessness, and incapacities of changing american- and euro-normative systems to be equitable, sustainable, and just; it must acknowledge the ways of the soil it is building on and prepare those around it for all possible consequences.

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Contextualization “We are a group of marginalized students, faculty, and allies who are demanding accountability, acknowledgement, and respect from the institution that is the Rhode Island School of Design.

It is not our job to educate you. But we will demand to be listened to. Who does this “progressive” institution represent? When ‘western’ education is the only thing of value. Equality does not equal equity. Our identities and experiences cannot be bought. We are more than a statistic. We are more than a data point. We are more than loose change. We are people with a desire to learn; And we demand to be treated that way.” — Statement from Black Artists and Designers for Not Your Token, 2016.

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Where the Current Conversation Began The call for equitable representation and justice that has led to the institution’s current political status first occurred in 2016, organized and led by the student organization B.A.A.D. (Black Artists And Designers). This protest was created to advocate for the demands listed on the image below.

Organized during an all-faculty meeting, Not Your Token called on students, staff, and faculty to “demand accountability, acknowledgement, and respect” from the institution. Speakers from all community constituencies spoke about their experiences of marginalization, tokenism, racism, colonialism, and oppression. In preparation for the protest, B.A.A.D. created The Room of Silence, a “short documentary about race, identity, and marginalization [at RISD]... meant to serve as a discussion tool and testimony on behalf of the growing student activist movement on our campus, and around the country.” The film was distributed for viewing to faculty and departments, and was released online immediately prior to the protest to further expose the issues to global communities and dialogues. Since then, the video and other evidence from the protest (such as the letter on the following pages) have been circulated at numerous art and design institutions across the nation, including, but not limited to, the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Lesley University, and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. The Room of Silence can be viewed online (See references).

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The following is a transcription of the letter written by B.A.A.D. and other student organizers addressed to several high-level RISD administrators: March 30th, 2016

Dear President Rosanne Somerson, Provost Pradeep Sharma, Board of Trustees Chair Michael H. Spalter, and all senior Deans of Rhode Island School of Design, As one of the oldest and leading art and design institutions in the country, RISD has been celebrated for shaping exceptional problem solvers out of students who possess unique and unparalleled creative skills. RISD claims that its graduates are encouraged to become mavericks, innovators in their fields, and the next forward-thinking leaders of our global society. As image makers, we are the movers and shakers of visual culture, and the resources granted to us at this institution make the possibilities for social impact endless. To call oneself a RISD student, alumni, or faculty is an immense privilege, yet it is one that far too many take for granted and use irresponsibly. RISD has neglected to address the needs of marginalized individuals on campus through its lack of widespread accessibility that affects a broad intersection of identities. There is a depressing lack of cultural competency in classes, critique culture, as well as student and faculty relationships. We as students are being challenged to make unconvential work that breaks the norm, but only if it does not stray too far from what the white, wealthy, and heteronormative class fins to be comfortable, acceptable, and marketable. Our students choose to pursue a RISD degree for the opportunities it seems to promise, yet upon arrival, it often feels like those opportunities are granted to an elite few. An institution that fails its students also fails the outside world. RISD must learn to quickly catch up with an ever changing multicultural society before it is too late. Black Artists and Designers (B.A.A.D.) is a coalition of marginalized and allied students who are seeking greater accountability, transparency, and respect from RISD as an institution. In response to the events at the University of Missouri and so many other colleges this past year, we believed that it was crucial to address our own administration’s shortcomings. While the stores of tension in these institutions have long been erased from news headlines in past months, it is important to keep these discussions at the forefront of national discourse and across the classroom and offices of our own school. As students, we know that the fight for equality will be long and difficult, but we also want to stress that it is no longer our sole responsibility to ensure that our school is promoting a safe and accessible environment. The work that we have put into this initiative thus far has been physically and mentally taxing for many; and by handing this document to those in power, we wish to hift our focus back onto the work that we always intended to do -- in the studio and beyond through an innovative creative practice. For these reasons, we present to you our List of Demands in the hopes that you can all continue to implement the work we have started as administrators and leaders of RISD. Please join us in this daunting yet highly achievable endeavor. Respectfully yours, Black Artists and Designers, students and allies, 2016

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1. We Demand a mandatory global consciousness course for all students in order to make them responsible image-makers. —— This course must fit into the current curriculum by taking the place of a required liberal arts credit. While this class is being created, RISD must provide student with a seminar/lecture/ workshop during orientation in order to accomplish the same purpose. —— In the same way that non-native speakers must take an introductory English course, there should be a special course offered to international students in order to help them better understand certain contexts and references within the classroom such as Intro to American History.

2. We Demand that all faculty undergo adequate, regular, and thorough cultural and identity-based sensitivity training upon being hired as well as after contract renewals on a basis of one, three, or five years. —— Faculty who fail to abide by basic principles established in training or who develop a record of repeated offenses MUST be held accountable. —— Stronger disciplinary action must be taken towards faculty have been reported more than once to administration.

3. We Demand that there be an increase in outreach and support to both low-income students and students of color whether they be prospective applicants or currently enrolled. —— RISD should ush for stronger partnerships with outside organizations in order to make the institution a more accessible and welcoming space. —— Programs like Questbridge help bridge the gap between high-achieving low-income students and access to higher education opportunities with some of the most prestigious colleges in America. —— RISD must make a greater effort to connect with Providence-based schools and organizations like City Arts, New Urban Arts, and AS220 which cater to low-income and first generation high school students through after-school partnerships and more extensive contact from admissions officers. —— Studio and Liberal Arts Professors MUST put an end to classist studio culture where those who can afford certain resources will have a higher chance of succeeding academically. Changes should include: —— P ublishing syllabi and supply lists ahead of time, especially if a specific course has been taught for more than one school year. —— The total estimated cost of expenses for materials, books, and deposit fees should be published online alongside all course descriptions on Student Planning. —— Professors should make their students aware of options like emergency funds and Second Life, and they should be more lenient with their materials’ brands.

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4. We Demand an increase in the number of faculty of color through a Diversity Action Plan and a more active involvement of students during the hiring process in which they should give input BEFORE and AFTER a candidate pool is closed. —— A minimum of 50% of the candidate pool should be non-white individuals who specialize in race, gender, sexuality, religion, inclusion, etc. —— This year, Brown University unveiled its own Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) which works to address and reform a lack of inclusion through six major categories: —— People —— Academic Excellence —— Community —— Curriculum —— Knowledge —— Accountability As a sister school, it is highly advisable that RISD turn to Brown as a model for implementing its own reform policies.

5. We Demand an increased number of visiting artists of color. —— We want every department to have no less than 50% of visiting artists per semester that come from marginalized backgrounds. —— The school should have a separate fund set aside for a monthly lecture series that allows for an artist of color to visit, speak, and hold workshops in collaboration with departments. We would like the series to be named after sculptor Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, the first black woman to graduate from RISD.

6. We Demand sweeping curriculum reform, departing from the westernized and outdated form of art and design education that are inclusive only to some. —— Liberal arts must increase the number of courses focusing on race, diversity, sexuality, gender, and religion, and these courses must be taught by faculty who specialize in these areas. —— The first year HAVC survey needs to be drastically altered in order to include equal representation of artists and works from culture that are not predominantly European.

7. We Demand that the RISD Fact Book change its statistics so that international races and ethnicities are actually broken down and represented accurately. —— The representation of socio-economic classes must be included as well, and the Fact Book should be an easily accessible and distributed publication. This will allow the student body to fully gauge the size of domestic and international communities around them.

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8. We Demand improvements in RISD’s treatment of mental health, especially in regards to the psychological adjustment and well being of marginalized students in predominantly white spaces. —— Counseling and Psychological Services must hire a full time counselor of color who specializes in issues of marginalization, discrimination, racial fatigue, and imposter syndrome. —— CAPS should also administer support groups for marginalized students.

9. We Demandthe creation of a public memorial in Market Square that acknowledges the legacy of slavery and racism on campus. —— RISD can commission either undergraduate or graduate students of color to submit proposals for a permanent sculpture installation, community garden, or reflection space.

10. We Demand that the Ewing Multicultural Center be fully restored from its current state of neglect, to become a fully functioning center for students of color, faith, and LGBTQIA identities, and to provide a safe space for our marginalized students to thrive and administer programs with student organizations and the office of Intercultural Student Engagement.

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Where the Conversation was Recognized In direct response to the protests, the administration of RISD acknowledged its complicity in keeping marginalized voices out of the canon — this led to the creation of a Social Equity and Inclusion Committee, tasked with analyzing the institution and making recommendations. The Action Plan summarized below is the fruit of their gathering; it is still in the process of being implemented. As outlined in its Social Equity and Inclusion Action Plan, RISD has the following vision for its impact, with regards to acting reparatively and redistribute resources and support throughout its community, namely those who have been marginalized by systems of oppression. Art and design have far-reaching capacities for generating shared language and connecting people and communities. The creative forms we study at RISD offer powerful means for conveying ideas and shaping experiences across habituated boundaries. Today we see those forms resonate more than ever before in the multilingual, culturally heterogeneous, digitally interconnected spaces around the globe. In fact, the democratization of communications media has made it possible for long marginalized voices to join and substantively transform our public discourses. The resulting body of critical knowledge has focused attention on interlocking systems of privilege and disenfranchisement entrenched throughout our social institutions, including those of higher education. In response, numerous institutions have worked to counteract the systemic forces of bias and inequality, but these efforts have produced, more often than not, only limited effects, especially when seen in the context of more rapid cultural changes in society at large. This differential between intent and outcomes has added a new level of urgency to the conversation on issues of diversity, identity, inclusion, access, agency, and equity in the halls of American higher education. The following Social Equity and Inclusion (SEI) Action Plan provides the RISD community with a historic opportunity to carefully and systematically address those issues, and realize a forward-looking example for other institutions to follow. This introductory paragraph to the report summarizes the institution’s stance on the lack of equity and inclusion for its marginalized community members. The report continues by: reviewing current initiatives occurring on campus to further promote social equity and inclusion; outlining future initiatives or developments they expect to bring to fruition; identifying the SEI Action Plan as a necessary but preliminary step and foreseeing its impact; defining foundational principles and terms; developing and demonstrating clear action items for seven different categories; laying out future impacts and expectations; and providing a glossary. The entire report is also filled with testimonies from community members and visitors to augment its presentation. Since it was written, the SEI Action Plan has been used to implement three core initiatives:

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—— The hiring of a Provost of Social Equity and Inclusion (Matthew Shenoda joined the community in August 2018). —— The creation of an office dedicated to ensuring the success of the plan (The Center for Social Equity and Inclusion announced its formation in early 2019). —— The redistribution of financial, physical, and material resources to ensure that other members of the local community are engaged in conversations about social equity and inclusion (CSEI plans on rolling out its grant program and its researcher position by the end of 2019). —— There is a class being held for faculty on Decolonizing Design in Fall 2019. —— Throughout Spring 2019, scholars of color were invited to speak critically about capitalism, design, and their flaws with a clear focus on race and equity. Its implementation within departments, offices, and other community groups on campus has been varied and not reported on as of yet; there is currently no formalized writing about how other members of the community interact with the SEI Action Plan or with its fruits.

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Where the Center Currently Meets the Conversation on SEI Though the administration is working to create systems to sustain these conversations, their impact on the day-to-day lives of their community members has not been as successful. Issues with harassment, microaggressions, and other forms of discrimination still continue to be lodged against the institution; it has become evident to the community that, though RISD is working on its longer-term impact, it is forgetting about the current and past lives it affects and has affected. There has been no change to the immediate quality of education for its current constituents. Thus, the aim of this report is to help the Center for Complexity, as an individual office and organization within the larger institution, confront its short-, mid-, and long-term relationships to social equity and inclusion with equal weight. With this framing, the Center has been evaluated to understand its relation to the only current plan for justice in place. The following section is an examination of the Center for Complexity in its first year of existence, and how it complies to and/or expands on the Social Equity & Inclusion Action Plan:

As of 2019, where does the Center come to the RISD conversation on Social Equity and Inclusion? The SEI Action Plan asks that… ...equity and inclusion are built into structures and processes. The Center is... —— Only doing so by acknowledging its need for diversity and representation across the fulltime staff body, especially with regards to race, age, and socioeconomic background(s). ...a campus culture of inclusion is fostered — it should promote student agency and facilitate community building. The Center is... —— Doing so right now by hiring student fellows, such as the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019 whose primary goal within the office was to integrate community building and strategic design thinking through a lens of equity and justice. —— Building this culture of inclusion through small, mid-size, and larger community gathering events, in which various groupings of Center staff meet in informal and social settings in exchange for financial and material compensation. ...demographic diversification is increased. The Center is... —— Not diverse in its demographics. ...make opportunities for people to engage with global perspectives and creative cultures, practices, and competencies.

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The Center is... —— Addressing global perspectives and creative cultures, practices, and competencies within its core staff body through internal discussions and logistical meetings. ...experiential learning is supported beyond studio and classroom. The Center is... —— Supporting experiential learning for staff and students involved in only one of its initiatives, the Strategic Design Program. ...the institution proactively engages with social, economic, demographic, and cultural change. The Center is... —— Engaging with social, economic, demographic and cultural change within its internal staff body through public initiatives, particularly those aimed at friends and faculty (especially those with connections to the Industrial Design Department) and smaller group conversations. ...offices have a stated commitment to diversity. The Center is... —— Not operating with an explicit stated commitment to diversity. ...offices have a stated commitment to equity and inclusion. The Center is... —— Not operating with an explicit stated commitment to equity and inclusion. ...there is proven compliance with discrimination and bias reporting and resolution - an anti-retaliation policy is thoroughly designed and instilled to protect those who encounter discrimination. Training and mediation becomes a useful tool to help solve cases of discrimination. The Center is... —— Not operating with an explicit stated compliance with discrimination- and bias-reporting and resolution. There is no anti-retaliation policy in place for internal staff relations; the only training and mediation that has occurred was led by the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019. ...there is training for senior leadership — intensive diversity, equity, and inclusion courses. The Center is... —— Not operating with offerings of training for senior leadership of their own. They have not yet participated in trainings that have been offered by the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion either because they were ineligible or unavailable. The only training and mediation that has occurred was led by the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019. ...recruitment of students who represent a diverse demographic makeup of the US. The Center is... —— Not recruiting demographically diverse students to work with them.

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...search committees are established to make sure diverse perspectives are actively sought in hiring processes. The Center is... —— Not yet in need of a search committee, and thus has not established protocol for their search committee ethos. ...grants and scholarships are offered more widely. The Center is... —— Not yet publicly offering grants and scholarships, though there are some in the process of being approved and disseminated. …there are separate funds for social equity, which deal directly with students’ inclusion and justice. The Center is... —— Not yet publicly offering separate funds, but is in the process of doing so with the Student Fellowship. ...there is a culture of resource sharing (physical, intellectual, material…). The Center is... —— Embedding a culture of resource sharing through multiple social media platforms and channels, each of which contains different intellectual resources. ...course costs are explicitly stated for students to plan their semesterly budgets. The Center is... —— Not explicitly stating its course costs, as it does not run courses at RISD or courses with costs for their students. ...pedagogies and syllabi are more connected. The Center is... —— Not operating initiatives that integrate RISD pedagogy and syllabi, but is in the process of developing opportunities to do so with a faculty fellowship. ...faculty web pages are updated yearly. The Center is... —— Not doing this, as it does not yet have a website. ...programming is designed to highlight dynamic learning within equity, inclusion, and diversity. The Center is... —— Designing programming to highlight dynamic learning, primarily through public convenings and conferences, such as Future of Food. —— Actively researching and developing effective strategies for critical conversations with community members, that engage their agency equitably, such as the Civic Forums initiative. ...inclusivity guides are designed to build off current structures of inequity in student critique

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and staff interactions. The Center is... —— Currently relying on two inclusivity guides created by the Complexity and Social Equity Fellow of 2019, which: introduce staff to cultures in South India through the lens of South Asian Diaspora; and frame syllabi and briefs as they relate to the teaching of systems inquiry in the Strategic Design Program (See attachment 2). —— Creating and reviewing one new inclusivity guide that was written this summer about approaches to case study libraries. No further inclusivity guides have been proposed or discussed. ...community engagement is holistically incorporated into RISD culture, specifically through community relations and strategic planning to focus on community-based research, learning, and service. The Center is... —— Not yet fully in collaboration with its surrounding communities, but has plans to do so with a Student Facing Fellowship. ...committees are formed to advocate for student wellness. The Center is... —— Not forming committees to advocate for student wellness, nor participating in other offices committee-forming processes. ...clear connections are made with community wellness organizations and offices at Brown University. The Center is... —— Only connected to one aspect of the physical health care office at Brown University, and is not actively making connections with other offices. ...spaces are created for religious and spiritual practice. The Center is... —— Not creating spaces for religious or spiritual practices, namely practices of care.

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Where the Center Currently Meets the Conversation-Sparking Remarks Though not stated in the report itself, there are two elements to the SEI Action Plan — the stated goals of the administration, and the demands of B.A.A.D. in advocating for the Action Plan to begin. As an advocate for reparations within the RISD and greater Providence communities, the Center must also commit to understanding its relation to the demands of students, as laid out in 2016. This section is an evaluation of the Center for Complexity in its first year of practice, and how it complies to and/or expands on the Not Your Token demands as published by B.A.A.D.:

RISD Center for Complexity—As of 2019, does the Center address the demands of the Not Your Token protest organizers and participants? In their statement, B.A.A.D. and their allies demand… ...a mandatory global consciousness course for all students in order to make them responsible image-makers. The Center is... —— Not doing this with an aim towards RISD students. —— Not doing this within its pedagogical initiatives, namely its Strategic Design Program, though there has been a stated interest in incorporating principles of learning global consciousness. Has not yet prepared course supplements on the need-to-knows of global consciousness. ...that all faculty undergo adequate, regular, and thorough cultural and identity-based sensitivity training upon being hired as well as after contract renewals on a basis of one, three, or five years. The Center is... —— Not pushing for training for its faculty, staff, or student participants in a regular manner. The Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow hired in 2019 developed some very low-level identity-based sensitivity training, but there were only two events and neither had follow-up nor full attendance. ...that there be an increase in outreach and support to both low-income students and students of color whether they be prospective applicants or currently enrolled. The Center is... —— Not increasing its outreach to support or invite low-income students and students of color to join the Center for Complexity formally or as critics. Six students of color have been employed at the Center, but four of these employees worked with the Strategic Design Program. There is a singular permanent staff member of color at the Center, with two


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other staff members stationed in India for the Strategic Design Program, but none of these employees are not in a designated support role for the students of color (nor is there another person or reference available for support). ...an increase in the number of faculty of color through a Diversity Action Plan and a more active involvement of students during the hiring process in which they should give input before and after a candidate pool is closed. The Center is... —— Not increasing the number of faculty or staff of color it works with or hires. —— Not consulting students before and after the candidate pool is closed, whether to: introduce students to hiring processes; increase student agency in determining administrative bodies; or advocate for diversity in recommendation knowledge and decision-making. ...an increased number of visiting artists of color. The Center is... —— Somewhat increasing the number of visiting scholars of color, namely as attempted in its Future of Food convening, though this was spearheaded by the event collaborator, PopTech. This, however, is the only convening where such a consideration was explicitly made and described, and is the only convening to be fully realized at the time of the writing of this report. —— Not paying for visiting artists of color, and has thus far only had two white speakers from the UK visit. ...sweeping curricular reform, departing from the westernized and outdated form of art and design education that are inclusive only to some. The Center is... —— Conducting curricular reform with regards to its customization to student, community, and financial stakeholder interests. —— Not conducting curricular reform that prioritizes non-western forms of art, design, and inquiry. —— Has hired people to make recommendations, namely the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019, to find ways in which non-western forms of art, design, and inquiry can be integrated into the Center’s pedagogical initiatives. ...that the RISD fact book change its statistics so that international races and ethnicities are actually broken down and represented accurately. The Center is... —— Not responsible for the RISD fact book and thus has not made or advocated for any changes in statistical representation. ... improvements in RISD’s treatment of mental health, especially in regards to the psychological adjustment and well being of marginalized students in predominantly white spaces. The Center is... —— Somewhat considering improvements to its approach to mental health, by compensating

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its student workers for their emotional labor and funding a Fellow-designed event on feminine body care. However, such compensation is only happening upon prompting from the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow, and only when a part of their job duties. —— No additional steps are being taken by the Center to fund, support, or compensate for the well-being of marginalized students who operate in its heavily white space. —— Marginalized students who work at the Center have sought mental healthcare citing their involvement at the Center as a cause; this has been addressed only in siloed conversations. Again, there has been marginal compensation taken for this student’s wellbeing, and only while prompted by the student themselves. ...the creation of a public memorial in Market Square that acknowledges the legacy of slavery and racism on campus. The Center is... —— Not contributing to the creation of a public memorial in Market Square that acknowledges the legacy of slavery and racism on campus, in part because there is not yet such an initiative and in part because such an endeavor is not currently on the Center’s agenda. —— Not researching the legacy of slavery and racism on campus past the initial work done by the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow for a land acknowledgement proposed to be delivered at the Future of Food Convening (See attachment 3). ...that the Ewing Multicultural Center be fully restored from its current state of neglect, to become a fully functioning center for students of color, faith, and LGBTQIA identities, and to provide a safe space for our marginalized students to thrive and administer programs with student organizations and the office of Intercultural Student Engagement. The Center is... —— Not contributing to the restoration of Ewing Multicultural Center, both because the EMC has been restored and because it was out of the purview of the Center. —— Considering how to restore its own physical space to become equally conducive in collaboration for students of color, faith, and LGBTQIA identities to engage with systems inquiry and thinking.

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Where the Center’s Ethos Currently Stands Given the preceding analyses of the Center for Complexity’s alignment with administrative and student-formed calls for equity, justice, and inclusion, the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019 analyzed a one-page summary of the organization’s identity. They have synthesized the following ethos, as a summary of the guidelines through which the Center has operated for its first year: The Center for Complexity has tasked itself with fostering new modes of transdisciplinary inquiry, with the intent to produce real world impact. It works in the in-betweens of corporate and academic institutions, of pedagogy and practice, of research and realization, to reconsider the ways in which systems favor certain bodies and lifestyles over others. This practice takes a number of forms, from working directly on challenges, catalysing new connections, all while advancing scholarship, practice, and pedagogy beyond the disciplinary boundaries of industrial design and art. The Center is invested in systems and their big challenges, and believes that systems can only be thoroughly addressed when their analysis crosses minds, disciplines, geographies, and scales. This organization asserts that lasting change comes from developing strong principles that are translated into multidisciplinary forms of action. It does so by advancing collaborative, transdisciplinary modes of inquiry and creating multiple avenues of understanding and capability, highlighting and exemplifying an equitable view of epistemologies. The Center for Complexity is a platform for conversation and dialogue across forms and traditions of inquiry, informed by global events and creative practices.


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Recommendations When making strides to repair systems of inequity, it is imperative to understand that, in some scenarios, destruction of the system is the only way to reestablish a just form equity.

“Figure 1: Social cartography of general responses to modernity’s violence,” from Andreotti et al.’s Mapping Interpretations of Decolonization in the Context of Higher Education (2015).

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How the Center Should Further the Conversation on SEI Given the aforementioned analysis of the Center for Complexity and its alignment with the SEI Action Plan, the following are recommended improvements to its current stance:

RISD Center for Complexity - Where can we improve and augment the RISD conversation on Social Equity and Inclusion? The SEI Action Plan asks that… ...equity and inclusion are built into structures and processes. The Center is recommended to... —— Develop and publish clear equity-, inclusion-, and justice-specific goals for each of its initiatives. These should feed into overarching goals, such as those pertaining to accessibility of digital design, efficiency of documentation, and hiring. —— Establish goals that prioritize the well-being of people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ identities, and people from varying economic, educational, and sociopolitical backgrounds. —— Review the developed goals on a yearly basis to ensure relevancy and accountability. ...a campus culture of inclusion is fostered — it should promote student agency and facilitate community building. The Center is recommended to... —— Hire and fund more people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ identities, and people from varying economic, educational, and sociopolitical backgrounds. In the context of RISD, this means actively approaching, appealing to, encouraging, supporting, and advocating for students in the fine arts division or without connections to the Departments of Industrial Design or Graphic Design; students on scholarships or with low-income backgrounds; and students who challenge or disagree with the Center’s approach to systems inquiry (namely those who have agendas of decolonization, dismantling white supremacy, and furthering the agency of marginalized people). —— Publically announce its commitment to students’ well-being, and state that this value is strongly held equally or beyond the well-being of the finances of the Center. —— Fund and support members of the community that are outside RISD and belong exclusively to the greater Providence community. Use financial, physical, and material resources to do so. —— Create a space whose environment that does not disable its visitors: physically, financially, intellectually, or emotionally. ...demographic diversification is increased. The Center is recommended to... —— Hire more people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and people from

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varying economic, educational, and sociopolitical backgrounds. —— Not hire any more white men. —— Create financial, physical, and material resource pools to ensure the well-being of all people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ identities, and people from varying economic, educational, and sociopolitical backgrounds who work at the Center. Treat the ideas and intellectual contributions of these community members with equal support and criticality. ...make opportunities for people to engage with global perspectives and creative cultures, practices, and competencies. The Center is recommended to... —— Create more programming (workshops, lectures, and studio visits) with leading global, non-european/non-american systems thinkers of color. Seek programming that challenges the Center and RISD’s approaches to design- and art-thinking. —— Create at least one craft-centered programming initiative, given its conduciveness to conversation within the RISD community. Consider the following question: “What are the material, financial, physical, and emotional repercussions of creating, designing, crafting, and making?” ...experiential learning is supported beyond studio and classroom. The Center is recommended to... —— Push for its experiential learning approaches to happen with and for members of the RISD and greater Providence community, namely those who have been excluded from the traditional canon of systems and industrial design. In other words, ensure that those who have access to pedagogical experiences are not only those already collaborating with the Center; ensure that these new engagements actively seek people who are not systems or industrial designers, but still contend with systems and industry, to speak with. ...the institution proactively engages with social, economic, demographic, and cultural change. The Center is recommended to... —— Examine its relationship to and reliance on those who critique systems design, specifically those who share similar end goals of decolonization and dismantling white supremacy but have different approaches to doing so. Draft an internal statement for on-boarding, or an external statement for publishing, that explains how and why the Center continues to do its work the way it does and acknowledges the validity of its critics. —— Embrace a culture of continuous reflection, allowing for it to regularly create goals for itself to reach, but changing those goals or processes after further introspection or discussion. ...offices have a stated commitment to diversity. The Center is recommended to... —— Utilise the statement and recommendations in this report to discuss, write and finalize a public commitment to be posted on the Center’s website. This should reflect the Center’s current commitment to diversity, what its intended commitment is, and what its desired commitment is.

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...offices have a stated commitment to equity and inclusion. The Center is recommended to... —— Utilise the statement and recommendations in this report to finalize a public commitment, to be posted on the Center’s website. This should reflect the Center’s current commitment to equity and inclusion, what its intended commitment is, and what its desired commitment is. ...there is proven compliance with discrimination and bias reporting and resolution - an anti-retaliation policy is thoroughly designed and instilled to protect those who encounter discrimination. Training and mediation becomes a useful tool to help solve cases of discrimination. The Center is recommended to... —— Work closely with the Human Resources office to develop its own policy to protect those who encounter discrimination, that wholly incorporates the Center’s awareness of systemic biases, oppression, and hiearchies. —— Develop a standard practice of compliance with the developed anti-retaliation policy that caters to the special employment relationships that the Center has with various demographic groups, including but not limited to: faculty, alumni, staff, students, and non-RISD community members. Take into critical consideration the varying socioeconomic identities of these individuals, and prepare all staff members to be well equipped in dealing with collaborators of varying backgrounds. ...there is training for senior leadership - intensive diversity, equity, and inclusion courses. The Center is recommended to... —— Participate in all university-wide training with full attendance from the staff body. —— Invest in its own internal training focused on identity- and culture-based sensitivity training, such as those offered by the Government Alliance for Racial Equity or the Haas Institute at Berkeley. ...recruitment of students who represent a diverse demographic makeup of the US. The Center is recommended to... —— Hire, collaborate with, and fund students whose demographics are not currently represented in the office. —— Take extra strides to see what these students will need in terms of intellectual, emotional, financial, and physical support to work at the Center, and create and/or fund all of those support mechanisms. —— Incorporate students into all aspects of decision making at the Center, such as through the creation of a Junior Committee, as done at Dance/NYC. This Junior Committee could help the systems influencers, designers, and inquirers of the future to help build the world that will host them and their work. It will also hold the Center accountable for its work in longer-term speculations. ...search committees are established to make sure diverse perspectives are actively sought in hiring processes. The Center is recommended to...

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—— Seek only women and people of color to serve on these search committees, giving specific consideration for student agency and input. —— Reimburse all participants on search committees for their time, either financially or materially. When financial reimbursement is not possible due to Human Resource policy, the Center will go out of its way to find other ways to support the individual they have invited to be on the committee. ...grants and scholarships are offered more widely. The Center is recommended to... —— Create and offer more grants and scholarships that appeal to a larger range of community members, while retaining the Center’s accessibility and relevance. —— Advocate for the creation of grants and scholarships in as many other departments and offices as possible, especially for those who are committed to: decolonization; dismantling white supremacy; or inquiring systems of hierarchy and organization. …there are separate funds for social equity, which deal directly with students’ inclusion and justice. The Center is recommended to... —— Create and offer multiple funds for social equity, such as a material fund for (non)Center associates. —— Use reparations, as defined by Ta Nehisi Coates, to guide its fundraising and distribution guidelines, seeking individuals who deserve reparations, rather than only those who need reparations (though the latter must also be considered). ...there is a culture of resource sharing (physical, intellectual, material…). The Center is recommended to... —— Open its physical space (or whatever space its staff regularly work in - which at the moment is the third floor 20 Washington lab), no matter its aesthetic condition, to all members of the RISD and greater Providence community. This should be implemented even if the Center does not have its own personal space; if there are direct ways in which this negatively affects the well-being of others in this space, the Center must move its operations to the lobby of 20 Washington during its open hours. —— Establish open hours on a daily or weekly basis, in which any member of the RISD community is welcome to meet with any member of the Center for Complexity. —— Establish a culture of collaborative working space, by offering material, financial, and/or physical resources in exchange for using the third floor space. Compensate student leaders and organizations for utilising the third floor space by adding to their revenue pools or taking their food costs from the Center’s budget. —— Program more public forums, both in person and online, through which people can engage with the intellectual resources that are currently shared amongst Center staff. Critically consider the possibility of an open Slack channel and propose an alternative if the open Slack channel is not pursued. —— Create an online database where all collaborators of the Center (and their contact information) are stored for a variety of community members to access. Indicate each collaborator’s interests, abilities, and connections, to help community members unpack the

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network of systems inquirers. —— Share the Center’s resources with noted allies of the community, such as the Intercultural Student Engagement Office or the Graduate Student Involvement Office. Support their efforts to bring together leaders, such as ISE’s 2018 “Cultural Leader” monthly meetings, where all members of identity-based groups were invited to dine with one another, share their resources, and discuss their personal and professional developments. ...course costs are explicitly stated for students to plan their semesterly budgets. The Center is recommended to... —— Publically state how much money it receives from its sponsors, and convey how much money is spent on each of their initiatives and in what ways. Indicate where cost sharing occurs, and explain why such a financial collaboration was possible and/or successful. ...pedagogies and syllabi are more connected. The Center is recommended to... —— Take extra steps to ask professors of color (full-time and part-time) about their pedagogical approaches, and incorporate their work into the Center’s syllabi. ...faculty web pages are updated yearly. The Center is recommended to... —— Update its website with its staff body yearly, including information about each staff member that highlights that the Center is questioning what systems of knowledge recognition design can rely on. For example, rather than stating each individual’s artistic merit, consider the inclusion of their experience with a scale of system. —— Update the rest of its website as it updates its faculty web pages, revisiting all content thoroughly for even slight word changes. Log these changes, and allow visitors of the website to be able to access an archive of changes and formats, in an effort to visualize the complexity of transition and growth. ...programming is designed to highlight dynamic learning within equity, inclusion, and diversity. The Center is recommended to... —— Not only highlight dynamic and diverse voices, but to support their vocality with physical, material, financial, intellectual, and emotional measures. The Center will, in all its programming, ensure that the voices of women and people of color are prioritized over the voices of white men. ...inclusivity guides are designed to build off current structures of inequity in student critique and staff interactions. The Center is recommended to... —— Continue developing inclusivity guides, by hiring and supporting a person whose only job is to develop these. This person should be treated as an authority on inclusivity in the office, and will be protected under the aforementioned anti-retaliation policy. They can opt-in to take on the responsibility of airing issues of discrimination, harrassment, and abuse to other people in positions of authority; if they do choose to do so, their word will be treated with as much respect as any other high level administrator.

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—— Revisit its existing inclusivity guides on a yearly basis and update them wherever necessary. ...community engagement is holistically incorporated into RISD culture, specifically through community relations and strategic planning to focus on community-based research, learning, and service. The Center is recommended to... —— Engage in collaboration that is not exclusively proposed by the Center, but instead comes from a community member or organization. The Center should only work with people who formally express an interest in working with them; thus, the Center should have an outward facing statement that they are open to all collaborators. —— Revisit the implementation of community engagement in the Student Fellowship, and consider its effect on the greater Providence community past the tenure of the Fellow. ...committees are formed to advocate for student wellness. The Center is recommended to... —— Form such committees, which in turn will appoint students with financial, physical, material, and/or emotional compensation. —— If there remains no person or resource within the Center for Complexity for marginalized students to turn to, the Center must ensure that said student has that support elsewhere, and fund that support fully. ...clear connections are made with community wellness organizations and offices at Brown University. The Center is recommended to... —— Make clearer connections with the Brown Center for Students of Color and the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, preferably accompanied with offers for financial, physical, or material compensation. ...spaces are created for religious and spiritual practice. The Center is recommended to... —— Create a practice of care, in which each member of the Center is well-equipped to deal compassionately with every other member of the Center, considering their relationships to race, gender, class, accessibility, etc. —— Dedicate an hour, weekly, during which all members of the Center must congregate to discuss non-work matters collectively. These should be personal discussions, aimed at ensuring that all staff are aware of what other stressors in their coworkers lives may lead to discomfort or lethargy.

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How the Center Should Further Their Addressal of Conversation-Sparking Remarks Given the aforementioned analysis of the Center for Complexity and its alignment with the demands of RISD community members, the following are recommended improvements to its current stance. It also takes into consideration the recommended improvements suggested by the work-study students and fellows who have thus far engaged with the Center for Complexity:

RISD Center for Complexity - How can we improve on our addressal of the demands from the Not Your Token protest organizers and participants, as well as of students’ experiences from interacting with the Center for Complexity? In their statement, B.A.A.D. and their allies demand, and as a result of their working relationship with the center, work-study students and fellows demand… ...a mandatory global consciousness course for all students in order to make them responsible image-makers. The Center is recommended to... —— Create programming or other pedagogical alternatives that offer a course on global consciousness or one with similar intellectual content to RISD students and greater Providence community members (namely youth). —— Alter the current pedagogical initiatives, namely the Strategic Design Program, to teach Infosys students about global consciousness through an anti-imperialist lens. Consult other students and pedagogues who are committed to decolonization and dismantling white supremacy in this effort. ...that all faculty undergo adequate, regular, and thorough cultural and identity-based sensitivity training upon being hired as well as after contract renewals on a basis of one, three, or five years. The Center is recommended to... —— Participate in all institutionally-organized training and organize its own training. —— Ensure that there is full attendance from the staff in each of these trainings, consistently and continuously. ...that there be an increase in outreach and support to both low-income students and students of color whether they be prospective applicants or currently enrolled. The Center is recommended to... —— Only hire and fund low-income students and students of color for the following five years. —— Create a position that is explicitly dedicated to providing professional, emotional, and

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material support to these low-income students and students of color. —— Mandate cultural- and identity-based sensitivity training for all staff members who will interact with any students. —— Advocate for the inclusion of low-income students and students of color in other administrative efforts whenever possible. ...an increase in the number of faculty of color through a Diversity Action Plan and a more active involvement of students during the hiring process in which they should give input before and after a candidate pool is closed. The Center is recommended to... —— Halt its current initiatives until it has hired two other full-time staff of color, who have explicit commitments to decolonization and dismantling white supremacy within systems contexts. —— Consult students before, during, and after this hiring process to align with the aforementioned goals of: introducing students to hiring processes; increasing student agency in determining administrative bodies; or advocating for diversity in recommendation knowledge and decision-making. ...an increased number of visiting artists of color. The Center is recommended to... —— Only fund and advocate for scholars of color to visit RISD or the Center for Complexity. —— No longer fund or advocate for white male scholars to visit RISD or the Center for Complexity. ...sweeping curricular reform, departing from the westernized and outdated form of art and design education that are inclusive only to some. The Center is recommended to... —— Conduct curricular reform that critically examines non-western forms of design and systems inquiry, and recanonizes people of color and their creative traditions. Such reform should consider the criticisms that plague systems design in large scales as they relate to imperial and colonial traditions of education and conversion. —— No longer reference euro- or american-normative designers or thinkers without a thorough public unpacking of that designer’s complicity in colonial systems, whether positive or negative. —— Actively cite non-euro- or american-normative designers as “superior” authorities on systems inquiry and design. ...that the RISD fact book change its statistics so that international races and ethnicities are actually broken down and represented accurately. The Center is recommended to... —— Advocate for changes in statistical representation by pulling its administrative weight wherever and whenever possible. ... improvements in RISD’s treatment of mental health, especially in regards to the psychologi-

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cal adjustment and well being of marginalized students in predominantly white spaces. The Center is recommended to... —— Provide back pay for any and all of its employees who have sought mental health care due to the nature of their relationship with the Center, taking a legal approach to calculating the correct financial amount. —— Create and allocate a mental health care fund to compensate for the well-being of all future marginalized students who interact with the Center. The Center should only hire new students once this fund has been created and fully vetted; new students should expect to have their mental health supported by the Center, financially or otherwise. —— Address the creation of a mentally unhealthy space for marginalized students by: training staff in culture- and identity-based sensitivity; reprimanding any and all staff members who contribute to a mentally unhealthy space for marginalized students, including but not limited to financial and professional reprimand; only hiring staff who are committed to communities and practices of care, especially for marginalized students. —— Prepare Center staff to identify and aptly react to symptoms of mental unhealthiness, as one would to symptoms of addiction; create the necessary support systems to protect students facing such symptoms. Work closely with Counseling and Psychiatric Services and Human Resources to develop and implement a protocol for how to financially, physically, materially, and emotionally support students with mental or emotional disabilities. Though this is a project of systemic inquiry, the results of such a research endeavor are not to be published; however, they should share equal temporal and administrative weight as all other research endeavors. ...the creation of a public memorial in Market Square that acknowledges the legacy of slavery and racism on campus. The Center is recommended to... —— Advocate for the creation of a public memorial in Market Square that acknowledges the legacy of slavery and racism on campus in all of its administrative positions. The Center must put out a public call for such a monument to be created. —— Hire and fund researchers of color to examine the legacy of slavery and racism on RISD campus, past the initial work done by the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow for a land acknowledgement proposed to be delivered at the Future of Food Convening (See attachment 3). ...that the Ewing Multicultural Center be fully restored from its current state of neglect, to become a fully functioning center for students of color, faith, and LGBTQIA identities, and to provide a safe space for our marginalized students to thrive and administer programs with student organizations and the office of Intercultural Student Engagement. The Center is recommended to... —— Model its newer publicized space after the restoration plan for the Ewing Multicultural Center, in that it directly contends with: physical accessibility; resource distribution; and availability for students and greater Providence community members.

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Where Resource Redistribution Can & Should Occur In the aforementioned demands and recommendations, multiple calls have been made for the Center to consider how it can redistribute its financial, physical, material, and intellectual resources in reparative ways. This following diagram summarizes the general intent of this section:

Below is a list of further recommendations and proposals for how to do so, given the current and potential future positions that the Center could hold within RISD, the field of systems design, and in the canon of visual culture: FUNDS FOR STUDENTS

The primary fund for students that is currently in development is titled the “Local Complexity Fellowship”. It provides students with the opportunity to engage with local communities by applying critical systems-based inquiry and design thinking to further integrate RISD with its surrounding neighbors. More information about the Fellowship is available in the appendix section as “Local Complexity Fellowship”. The primary goal with the “Local Complexity Fellowship” is to reallocate funds that come into the Center towards students’ and local organizations’ interests. By providing students and local organizations with the agency to propose the interventions, the Center is asserting that it does not


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see itself as the only creator of criticality or inquiry. Additionally, by reallocating financial, physical, material, and intellectual resources to these students and local organizations, the Center is actively working against the current capitalist tendency to support groups who already align with the goals of those in power. This is an effective method to deter reliance on systems of hierarchy, and actively dismantle them in favor of students, communities, and local organizations. Students may also interact with the Center for Complexity through the following positions: —— Work-Study Research Assistant —— Work-Study Teaching Assistant —— Summer Research Fellow —— Graduate Research Assistant —— Graduate Teaching Assistant —— Committee Member (For Hiring, Funding, and Other Decision Making) —— Attendee or Invitee to Programming When students are in work-study roles with the Center for Complexity, the limits of their financial earnings are limited. In an effort to show the significance of work-study students as equal to that of other collaborators, the Center must find other forms of compensation (physical, material, intellectual, emotional, or otherwise) to ensure that the work-study student is receiving the same levels of support. This form of compensation must be decided on a case-by-case basis, with direct conversation between the student and the employer. Students who work with the Center for Complexity for the course of the summer must be compensated in accordance with their time and physical commitments. Since alumni are more likely to work with the Center over the summer and are not eligible for RISD health care, the Center must find ways to compensate these students for any additional support they seek for their well-being. Graduate students who work with the Center are bound by time and stipend; thus, there must be clear project maximums to ensure that graduate fellows are not overworked. The Center must work with each student to find out their work process, and find a schedule that matches both the student’s and the Center’s needs. Graduate students who work with the Center for Complexity are more likely to have a shorter-term relationship, given the nature of their academic commitment to RISD. Thus, the Center must find ways, in accordance with students’ needs, to sustain the student’s relationship with Center collaborators past their tenure as employees. All members of Center-organized committees are contractually volunteers, and cannot be financially compensated for their efforts in the committee. Thus, the Center is encouraged to find other exchanges of resources to support students who work on committees, such as one-on-one critiques, connections and network building, or food support. All Center-created committees are expected to serve their attendees a meal to compensate them for that time and energy. Finally, any attendees or invitees for Center programming should be given equal opportunities for interaction. In this sense, any venue where the Center is hosting any event must be accessible to people with disabilities, such as ADA approved entrances and listening services. Students should be actively sought out as invitees and attendees, and must be given the agency in these events to speak as much as guests or professors. By doing so, the Center asserts that there is significant knowledge to be shared across multiple hierarchies, and that it does not seek validation or certification from an educational university to determine one’s intellectual worth.

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FUNDS FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS & LEADERS

The primary fund for community organizations and leaders is the same “Local Complexity Fellowship” mentioned beforehand. In this case, all collaborative community organizations and leaders are compensated for their time as equally as the students are. However, the organization or leader is not necessarily expected to put this money towards the collaboration; they are in fact encouraged to use those funds elsewhere. This is a way for the Center to assert its belief that its work builds on the work of grassroots organizations and community members, and that they are compensating them for their intellectual, physical, emotional, and material labor. Additionally, all collaborators in this Fellowship will receive access to the physical spaces that all Center staff have access to, including (but not limited) to the third floor research space, the RISD Museum, and the Ewing Multicultural Center. The same will apply for materials that the organization may need to support the Fellow; the Center will fund as many materials as it can within its fiscal year for all participants, whether those purchases are minor art supplies or lumber. In the case that these materials are available at a RISD-owned store, the Center will offer its employee discount for collaborators to use. Community organizations and leaders may also interact with the Center for Complexity through the following positions: —— Part-time Employees —— Full-time Employees —— Research Collaborators & Coordinators —— Community Experts & Consultants —— Committee Member (For Hiring, Funding, and Other Decision Making) —— Attendee or Invitee to Programming Community members and leaders of color who are employed by the Center for Complexity will be compensated for their contribution to local well-being if they are active members of organizations that work towards decolonization and away from white supremacy. This will assert the Center’s belief that the work that people of color do outside their workday is equally laborious and significant in its contribution to equity. These activities will be funded by the Center whenever possible; otherwise, staff of color will receive funding for their participation in such organizing. Research collaborators and coordinators are members of the local community who ask to work with the Center on specific research endeavors, such as the Opioids Task Force. These collaborators and coordinators should be compensated for their collaboration through material and physical resources whenever possible. In the event that these collaborators have decolonization agendas to dismantle white supremacy, they will also receive financial compensation, in addition to support from staff members at events whenever possible. This will assert the Center’s belief that those who are actively decolonizing their community are valuable citizens whose work is significant to global well-being. Community experts and consultants are members of the local community that the Center turns to for further information about local goings-on. These experts and consultants must be compensated for their knowledge and insight financially, at a minimum hourly rate of $250. The financial compensation can also be augmented with physical and material resources whenever possible or requested. This will assert the Center’s belief that all forms of knowledge and experience are worth compensating for financially. Community members who join committees are contractually volunteers, and cannot be financially compensated for their efforts. Thus, the Center is encouraged to find other exchanges of resources to support students who work on committees, such as staffing for an event, publicity at program-

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ming, or face-time with upper-level administrators. All Center-created committees are expected to serve their attendees a meal to compensate them for that time and energy. Finally, any attendees or invitees for Center programming should be given equal opportunities for interaction. In this sense, any venue where the Center is hosting any event must be accessible to people with disabilities, such as ADA approved entrances and listening services; when possible, they should also not be on RISD’s campus, or provide transport for community members to those locations. Community leaders should be actively sought out as invitees and attendees, and must be given the agency in these events to speak as much as guests or professors. By doing so, the Center asserts that there is significant knowledge to be shared across multiple hierarchies, and that it does not seek validation or certification from a singular type of educational university to determine one’s intellectual worth. COMMUNITY OF CARE

Past the Center’s financial, physical, intellectual, and material resource-sharing abilities, the organization is expected to create, foster, and uphold a critical culture of care. Cultures of care are antithetical to white supremacy, and are thus key components of decolonization. To assert the Center’s belief in and understanding of systematic emotional destabilization, a culture and community of care must be created. As part of a recommended Mental Health & Wellness Protocol, the Center is asked to create the following: —— A Mental Health Committee & Fund —— Counseling & Psychiatric Services Protocol —— Anti-Retaliation Policy —— Designated Full-time Staff Care Hour With the Mental Health Committee and Fund, the Center should find ways to financially support all of its employees’ mental health efforts, be that through covering medication and counseling costs or compensating for additional mental health days. The Committee will be created to act as a resourceand information-hub, where all employees of the Center can turn to in the event of a mental health emergency. At least one of these committee members must be a certified therapist of color, experienced in navigating systems of oppression in academia. The Counseling & Psychiatric Services Protocol is to be developed with the help of RISD’s CAPS and HR offices. This protocol will provide information on: how supervisors can help with their employees mental well-being; what forms of conflict management can and should be utilised in inter-office relations (such as the anti-retaliation policy); and what forms of financial and physical support the Center can provide for its employees. This should be a key part of all contracts distributed by the Center for its collaborators. Finally, a designated full-time staff care hour must also be established, during which all members of the staff are expected to share non-work responsibilities for the week. This is to ensure transparency in the understanding of employee responsibilities, and model the importance of personhood in systems work. It is a way to assert the Center’s understanding that systems design will always have a personal impact, be it on the designer or the constituent. By acknowledging the personal lives of individuals in the Center, staff will be able to better assess how they can distribute weekly tasks.

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OPEN & TRANSPARENT PRACTICES

The Center must assert its belief in openness and transparency by creating a variety of open and transparent interactions for members of the community. The Center must have an open space, with dedicated open hours, for all community members to interact with the physicality of the organization. During these open hours, all staff members should be publicly available for consultation, critique, and conversation. This asserts the Center’s belief that all knowledge should be shared, especially when bureaucracy keeps certain information from reaching all voices and minds equally. The Center must also have an open online library, housed within its website, in accordance with the attached inclusivity guide , “A Case for Case Studies”. In addition to a library of case studies, the Center will also publish and share a list with the names of its organizational and individual collaborators, so that others without the institutional sanctioning of the Center can also build their networks accordingly. Finally, an open-forum conversational platform must be established, such as the aforementioned Slack channel, to assert the Center’s belief that multiple people outside institutional recognition should have access to the thoughts and practices of systems inquirers. This will also be a great way for critics of the Center’s approach to systems design to air their thoughts with consideration and safety. FINANCIAL, PHYSICAL, AND MATERIAL REPARATIONS

Apart from the financial, physical, and material support that the organization provides for its collaborators, the Center must also find ways of distributing its excess revenue to local community organizations as reparations. Again, this must come from a critical analysis of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay, and should be decided carefully in collaboration with the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion. Organizations that receive reparations must be created, managed, and run by people of color who are Native or Indigenous to Rhode Island, or the descendants of people who were enslaved during the Atlantic Slave Trade. These organizations need not have agendas of decolonization, as long as they cater to the needs of other Native, Indigenous, Black, or African-American communities as agreed upon by other Native, Indigenous, Black, or African-American advocates. OUTWARD DEMANDS, MEMORIALS, AND STATEMENTS

Given the demands for public memorials and recognitions of RISD’s ties to the Atlantic Slave Trade and Indigenous genocide, the Center must critically consider its stance on participating in the creation and research of such monuments. Though public statements are often not effective in their contribution to greater equity in that they are performative and replace genuine action, these gestures still offer an important level of shared introspective reflection. These statements affirm the Center’s belief in solidarity and allyship, as the Center is using its image and institutional sanctioning to publically demand memorials which remind community members of their ties to systems of oppression; in doing so, memorials hope to consistently remind people of the work to be done in creating equity so as to inspire critical change. In accordance with these demands, the Center should not only participate in the creation of a memorial in Market Square, but should also develop: its own land acknowledgment policy and practice; a formal statement of its complicity in institutional hierarchy across its online presence; a published document that discusses, in as much detail as possible, where the Center receives and spends its funding; and original or cited definitions of all of its social equity, inclusion, and justice

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terms to hold the Center publicly accountable for any and all language usage and decisions. DESTRUCTION OF SYSTEMS

The Center must publicly acknowledge that systems in the united states and other euro-normative nations are not cyclical in their hierarchy, but linear, and thus conducive to racism, classism, colonialism, imperialism, and oppression. If the Center for Complexity exists to not only analyze and dissect systems, but also to dismantle their contribution to inequity and injustice, then it must be committed to destroying all systems of organization that are recognized by american- and euro-normative nations. The Center’s most important act of resource redistribution will occur only when capitalistic and hierarchical organizations are no longer present; since the Center itself operates within these conditions, it too must be undone for total resource redistribution.

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Where Community Engagement Can & Should Occur Similarly to the Center’s ability to collaborate with marginalized students, the organization must contend with its potential to collaborate and engage with local community organizations. To ensure local community agency, the Center should not require any form of collaboration from local community members without the latter’s prompting first occurring. Community organizations should reach out to the Center with ideas for intellectual collaboration. However, financial and material resource distribution can occur, as long as institutions are looking for contributions; in these cases, such donations must be anonymous whenever possible, to ensure that the Center does not use donation accreditation to make up for genuine systemic change. In alignment with the aforementioned reparations guidelines, the Center will publicly establish its interest and ability to be a collaborator or sponsor. This will happen through outreach that explicitly states that the Center would first like to address the needs of the organization, and does not ask for any further participation or collaboration past that, unless the organization wishes. All efforts for community engagement must be vetted thoroughly by Matthew Shenoda and the Center for Social Equity & Inclusion, to ensure that its intent matches its potential impact, and does not further cultural imperialism or deter decolonization in any ways.

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Where the Center’s Ethos & Cultures of Practice Can & Should Stand Given the preceding recommendations for the Center for Complexity’s alignment with equity, justice and inclusion, the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow puts forth the following edited ethos summary: The Center for Complexity has tasked itself with fostering new modes of transdisciplinary inquiry, with the intent to produce real world impact. It works in between corporate and academic institutions, pedagogy and practice, research and realization, to reconsider the ways in which systems favor certain bodies and lifestyles over others. This practice takes a number of forms, from working directly on challenges, catalysing new connections, all while advancing scholarship, practice, and pedagogy beyond the disciplinary boundaries of industrial design and art. The Center is invested in systems and their big challenges, and believes that systems can only be thoroughly addressed when their analysis crosses disciplines, geographies, and scales. This organization asserts that lasting change comes from developing strong principles that are translated into multidisciplinary forms of action. It does so by advancing collaborative, transdisciplinary modes of inquiry and creating multiple avenues of understanding and capability, highlighting and exemplifying an equitable view of epistemologies. The Center for Complexity is a platform for conversation and dialogue across forms and traditions of inquiry, informed by global events and creative practices. Thus, the Center for Complexity believes that systems inquiry must itself be aware of its nuanced causal relationship to injustice, inequity, and exclusion to meaningfully contribute to the decolonization and destruction of white supremacy and hierarchy. The Center for Complexity realizes that euro- and american-normative, capitalist systems ecologies are inherently detractive to the well-being of marginalized identities, namely those of color, with disabilities, in nontraditional professional fields, with “lower” socioeconomic backgrounds. Thus, it seeks to dismantle these systems through policy, intervention, programming, pedagogy, design, and advocacy — while still attending to the daily wounds of white supremacy and hierarchy, as they permeate the lives and interactions of all global citizens. The Center for Complexity embeds these values into its initiatives, namely in its: reparations to Black and Indigenous communities of Rhode Island; research and communications; convenings and conferences; and

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redistribution of monetary, physical, and material resources. Using a transdisciplinary model of collaboration and innovation, the Center informs its actions and recommendations with the help of global events and creative practices situated either outside the context of the euro-american norm or actively against the context of the euro-american norm. As a result, the Center for Complexity makes extra time and space to acknowledge, credit, and support others who have already contributed to cultures of inclusion, equity, and justice, especially those who have been left out of the historical canon. The Center for Complexity is currently focused on the following four main issue areas (as defined in its identity guide*) across its initiatives and is highly invested in investigating their intersections: Social Equity, Inclusion and Justice Knowledge Hierarchies and Epistemologies Local, Global, and Other Systems Climate Change and Environmental Well-Being The Center for Complexity is committed to constantly revisiting and revising these main issue areas, as well as their impacts on initiatives, community members, and global systems. Accordingly, the Center encourages, welcomes, and compensates all those who wish to re-examine its approach or fruits with critical reframing and writing.

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Where the Center Must Do Work, From the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow After an intensive eight months of engagement, the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow of 2019 puts forth the following demands as essential themes for integration. Given that the aforementioned recommendations deal more directly with the nature of the Center’s relationship with the local communities, and that the Center claims its investment in larger scale hierarchies, the following demands are more specific to the nature of the Center’s work ethic and hopes. These are also demands that the Fellow is making from their own analysis, and though they build off recommendations and demands from others, the ones below are more specific to the Center itself, and less to the institution it belongs to. They are modelled after those written by B.A.A.D. for Not Your Token and by the Guerilla Girls’ Code of Ethics for Art Museums. As demanded by a femme of color employed by this organization, the Center for Complexity must: —— Discuss, draft, and publish a statement condemning white supremacy and its perpetrators. —— Discuss, draft, and publish a statement committing the Center for Complexity and all of its members, supporters, and collaborators to decolonization: namely, the removal of all people’s reliance on white, hetero-patriarchal, and/or capitalist systems of organization and hierarchy. —— Discuss, draft, and publish statements that denounce design and art in american- and euro-normative communities for their reliance on white, hetero-patriarchal, and/or capitalist epistemologies, canons, and forms of knowledge. —— Design and develop all appendix items as teaching guides for instructors, as research guides for staff, and as inclusion guides for collaborators; compensate the original content creators of these guides for their labor. —— Work with financial administrators to develop an equal wage system for all full-time employees of the Center, in which yearly salaries are the same across the organization. —— Work with financial administrators to develop an equal wage system for all part-time employees, collaborators, and invitees, in which hourly wages are as far from minimum wage as possible. —— Hold all corporate sponsors accountable for their missions by publicly stating these companies actions (financially, physically, intellectually, or otherwise) on the Center for Complexity’s website and other digital platforms. —— Refuse to collaborate with or take sponsorship from any organizations who derive their revenue from or support: the exploitation of womxn of color; the destruction of the environment temporarily or otherwise; the silencing of advocacy campaigns; any racist, casteist, sexist and/or homophobic actions within two years of the relationship being initiated; further the dependency of people of color, people with disabilities, or LGBTQIA+


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people on any institutions. —— No longer cite a single white man in any initiatives. —— Cease to cite people from euro- and american-normative communities once they have been referenced thrice. —— Focus on citing contemporary makers, advocates, and inquirers of color. —— Ensure that all committees that the Center interacts with have a constituency in which people of color outnumber white people. —— Enroll all full-time staff in racial equity training, namely, those presented by the Government Alliance for Racial Equity. —— Review the retainment of full-time staff for each year of their tenure. —— No longer hire any white men for any initiatives or even temporary collaboration. —— Formally address the Center’s relationship to fostering mental unhealthiness for its femme fellows and fellows of color either through financial compensation or another method agreed to or chosen by the fellow. —— Compensate the Fellows of 2019 financially for the lack of support with regards to mental wellbeing.

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Foreseen Impact “I was equally impressed by what I interpret as a step forward among would-be volunteer like you: openness to the idea that the only thing you can legitimately volunteer for in Latin America might be voluntary powerlessness, voluntary presence as receivers, as such, as hopefully beloved or adopted ones without any way of returning the gift. “Today, the existence of organizations like yours is offensive to Mexico. I wanted to make this statement in order to explain why I feel sick about it all and in order to make you aware that good intentions have not much to do with what we are discussing here. To hell with good intentions. This is a theological statement. You will not help anybody by your good intentions. “A ‘dove’ must always be included in the public dispute organized to increase U.S. belligerence. [Thus] I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and hopefully, to stop you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans… the idea that every American has something to give, and at all times may, can and should give it, explains why it occurred to…help Mexican peasants ‘develop’ by spending a few months in their villages. “You, like the values you carry, are the products of an American society of achievers and consumers... You are ultimately — consciously or unconsciously — ‘salesmen’ for a delusive ballet in the ideals of democracy, equal opportunity, and free enterprise among people who haven’t the possibility of profiting from these. “Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.S. idealist, who turns up in every theater of the world: the teacher, the volunteer, the missionary, the community organizer, the economic developer, and the vacationing do-gooders. Ideally, these people define their role as service. Actually, they frequently wind up alleviating the damage done by money and weapons, or ‘seducing’ the ‘underdeveloped’ to the benefits of the world of affluence and achievement. Perhaps this is the moment to instead bring home to the people of the U.S. the knowledge that the way of life they have chosen simply is not alive enough to be shared. “If you have any sense of responsibility at all, stay with your riots here at home. Work for the coming elections: you will know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how to communicate with those to whom you speak. And you will know when you fail. If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can

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tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don’t even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as ‘good’, a ‘sacrifice’ and ‘help’. “I am here to suggest that you voluntarily renounce exercising the power which being an American gives you. I am here to entreat you to freely, consciously, and humbly give up the legal rights you have to impose your benevolence on Mexico. I am here to challenge you to recognize your inability, your powerlessness, and your incapacity to do the ‘good’ which you intended to do.” Monsignor Ivan Illich in an address to the Conference on Inter-American Student Projects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico in 1968, titled “To Hell with Good Intentions”.

FORESEEN IMPACT

As the excerpts above from Monsignor Ivan Illich’s speech indicate, intent and impact are often seek two entirely different realities. It is the responsibility of the Center to ensure that, above all else, there is no further marginalization of people of color by any of the decisions it makes, to the best of its ability. If, at any point, the Center considers working with those who perpetuate white supremacy, it must end its actions immediately, so as to keep from impacting the lives of those oppressed by such hierarchy and division. When properly adopted and critically analyzed, this report should allow for the Center for Complexity to be one of the few ethical administrative offices at RISD, while acting as a beacon to other design thinkers across the world. Such is no easy feat, and here, Monsignor Illich’s words ring most true; the Center must recognize the inabilities, powerlessness, and incapacities of changing american- and euro-normative systems to be equitable, sustainable, and just.

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References & Resources

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Community Organizations: RISD Black Artists and Designers (B.A.A.D.) https://www.facebook.com/risdbaad/ https://www.facebook.com/events/484966635025590/ The Room of Silence by B.A.A.D. https://vimeo.com/161259012 RISD Center for Social Equity & Inclusion (CSEI)https://sei.risd.edu/ RISD Social Equity & Inclusion Action Plan https://issuu.com/risd/docs/risd-social-equity-inclusion-action RISD Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) http://caps.risd.edu/ RISD Intercultural Student Engagement Office (ISE) https://www.risd.edu/about/offices/intercultural-student-engagement/ Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC) https://www.brown.edu/campus-life/support/students-of-color/ Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender https://www.brown.edu/campus-life/support/sarah-doyle-center/ Brown University LGBTQ Center https://www.brown.edu/campus-life/support/lgbtq/ Brown Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) https://www.brown.edu/campus-life/support/counseling-andpsychological-services/ Center for Reconciliation Rhode Island http://cfrri.org/ Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) https://www.prysm.us/ The Fang Collective https://www.facebook.com/FangCollective

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Texts on Social Equity and Inclusion: Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New Press, 2012. A book discussing how the prison industrial complex targets black men and has been developed by covert systems practices like the school-toprison pipeline. Baldwin, James. I Am Not Your Negro. 2017. A film that incorporates James Baldwin’s writings to discuss the treatment of Black and African Americans in the U.S.. Coates, Ta-Nehisi. “The Case for Reparations.” The Atlantic, 2015, pp. 1–50., doi:10.7312/asme16959-003. A seminal paper on how and why reparations can operate in American society. Conley, Tara L, and Julia Sebastian. “Racial Equity Readiness Assessment for Workforce Development.” Race Forward, 30 May 2019, www.raceforward.org/practice/tools/workforcedevelopment-racial-equity-readiness-assessment. A tool developed by Race Forward to determine how different work environments can work towards racial equity. Dance/NYC, “Resource Pages.” Home, 2019, www.dance.nyc/for-artists/resource-pages. An organization with a strong understanding of how to fight for justice and equity in institutions. DiAngelo, Robin J.. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Allen Lane, 2018. A book on white fragility and how people can come to terms with it. Goldman, Charles, et al. “Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator’s Handbook.” National Endowment for the Arts, www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/Design-for-Accessibility.pdf. A guide to designing accessible programs, publications, and public relations. “Government Alliance on Race and Equity.” Government Alliance on Race and Equity, www.racialequityalliance.org/. An organization dedicated to developing and teaching cultural sensitivity to those working towards justice, equity, and inclusion. Guerilla Girls. Code of Ethics for Art Museums. A satirical code of ethics representing how art museums regard equity, inclusion, and justice. “Interrupt White Dominant Culture.” Art Museum Teaching, 31 May 2019, artmuseumteaching.com/2019/05/31/interrupting-white-dominant-culture/.

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How one can identify and react to white supremacy in work environments. Illich, Ivan. “To Hell With Good Intentions.” 1968, doi:10.1007/springerreference_75748. A seminal text that addresses the treatment of non-american and non-european cultures as in need of ‘help’ and ‘saving’, in response to voluntourism culture. Mcintosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (1989) 1.” On Privilege, Fraudulence, and Teaching As Learning, pp. 29–34., doi:10.4324/9781351133791-4. A seminal text that talks about viewing one’s implication in systems of white supremacy. “Media Arts.” NEA, www.arts.gov/artistic-fields/media-arts. A hub for all NEA resources, specifically guidelines for how to plan for and include accessible media in presentations and programming. Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Dramatists Play Service Inc. A book of poetry on aspects of black femme life in America. Stein, Sharon, and Vanessa De Oliveira Andreotti. “Decolonization and Higher Education.” Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2017, pp. 370–375., doi:10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_479. A journal article on how decolonization can actually take place within higher education.

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Appendix of Internal Documents, Reprinted The following section contains all internal-facing documents created by the Complexity and Social Equity Research Fellow over their tenure. They are presented in chronological order of their creation.

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Attachment 1 - A Primer on Mysore: BACKGROUND FOR TRAINERS & INSTRUCTORS

A note — I have, of course, my own reasons for choosing the sources below, and would like to provide some context. As someone who is left-leaning, I do not support the current government of India. Additionally, I am anti-Hindutva (you’ll read more below about this term), support the abolition of caste (as discussed by B.R. Ambedkar), and come at this from a lens of post-colonial / South Asian American/queer diasporic critique. My sources are, thus, leaning in one way or another — please take this into account when reading these articles and/or my notes. They may or may not match the views of the students/InfoSys collective. CONTENTS:

—— Who is in the government now? —— What are the politics of religion and socioeconomic class across the subcontinent? —— How has food been politicized? —— What is food culture in India like? —— What is India’s relationship with its neighbors, the U.S., and the European Union?

A highly minimized summary of who is in the government now: There is an election in April 2019, which means most political media while the first SDP in Mysore occurs will be concerned with who will be the next Prime Minister. Currently, Narendra Modi (of the BJP) is the Prime Minister — he won the position in 2014. The BJP - or Bharatiya Janata Party (The Indian People’s Party) - is a pro-Hindu party in control of nearly sixty percent of India, including its most populous and financially adept states. Modi has been criticised for his “involvement” (though highly controversial, and not confirmed by the BJP) with the 2002 Gujarat Riots, in which there was a severe eruption of anti-Muslim violence, leading to the deaths of (in some counts) over a thousand Muslim people. These riots were allegedly in response to a train bombing led by a group of Muslims, and targeting roughly sixty Hindus on pilgrimage. Modi was then the Chief Minister of the Gujarati state, and he is accused of initiating and supporting anti-Muslim violence. Thus (unsurprisingly), Modi & his party & his supporters lean heavily towards Hindu nationalism (also known as the Hindutva movement), believing that India should be an exclusively Hindu nation. They have tried to enforce this religious belief with laws (BBC 43581122). Undert Modi, the BJP started “pro-poor economic schemes and innovative programmes” — but these were notoriously targeted towards “upper” caste (vegetarian/Hindu/socially wealthy) Indians. The BJP has chosen to ignore violence against religious minorities — hate-crimes (mostly against Muslims, but also against other non-Hindu Indians) have dramatically increased. “The BJP’s ultimate goal is to make the 80 percent of Indians who are Hindus vote according to their religious identity, driven by animosity towards minorities, mainly Muslims. If the BJP succeeds, this would turn India’s political character on its head” (Aljazeera 181120160323155).

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The Modi government is an ally of Trump’s government, and also of other political leaders like Tulsi Gabbard; there is a similarity in ethos and rhetoric. Note here that many first-generation diasporic Indians, such as those in the UK & US, support Modi. Modi’s main opposition is Rahul Gandhi of the Congress Party. The Congress Party has ruled most of post-colonial India, and Gandhi’s ties to the Jawaharlal Nehru family line (but not “Mahatma” MK Gandhi) have made him a Kennedy-like figure in Indian politics: “...in state elections in Karnataka [where Mysore is],... Modi’s party won the most seats but lost power to a coalition.” Modi is still the favorite of most Indian residents. He has helped the economy recover in favor of some, and the BJP has increasing power over state governments. His brand of “humility” is marketed through the telling of how he climbed the sociopolitical ladder. His rule, however, increased the rate of anti-Muslim, caste-based, and female-centric violence. “All the same, Indian voters historically have been moved more by the price of onions and tomatoes than political shenanigans. (Economists expect inflation to accelerate next year.)” https://www.forbes.com/sites/salvatorebabones/2018/01/21/who-is-narendra-modi-indias-controversial-prime-minister-may-offer-a-role-model-for-donald-trump/#3b282a5b3761 Who is Modi, and what controversy surrounds him? https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-07/your-guide-to-india-s-upcoming-generalelection-quicktake This provides an overview of the current political landscape with PM Modi in power. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/discontent-brews-india-modi-rule-2019-elections-180921090732710.html An article in opposition to Modi’s economic decisions and the “rural pain” they cause. Despite the “rural pain” mentioned in Al Jazeera article above, “the BJP recently took a series of steps to accentuate India’s growing religious polarization.” Consider the religious makeup of rural populations (primarily Dalit and Adivasi) versus those who live in urban areas, or even those who will attend the Center’s program. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2019-election-crucial-india-history-181120160323155. html An article on who wants to be in charge of the Indian government in 2019.

A highly minimized summary of religious and socioeconomic class politics across the Indian subcontinent: Modi’s government has used its control over local government authorities to censor Maoist, nonHindu, and other left-leaning political advocates. The government has tried to connect all three of the aforementioned anti-BJP parties, and align them with anti-Hindutva beliefs, too. Contemporary interpretations of caste in India are reflective of colonial Britain’s misunderstanding and misrepresentation of caste, thus making caste seem more important to colonized South Asians than it was in pre-colonial South Asia (though there is no doubt that the caste system was one of division). This can be tracked down to the British coming across the Manusmriti and perpetuating it to be true Hinduism, and as such, not encouraged by colonial authorities. When South Asians retaliated against colonial influence, they then embraced Manusmriti as a form of resistance, similar to the contemporary weaponization of beef-consumption as a stance against Hindutva. For the Center, it could be interesting to discuss how creative collectives relate to this [alleged] historic

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precedent, and what it means to place importance on different ideals. How do biases and influences within the Center’s individual and collective creative practices, and examine their roots to the nth degree. How is one aware of these influences as they continue to make work? How does one make their audience(s) aware of these influences? Should they be aware/make others aware? “India’s Parliament has approved a bill providing a 10 percent quota in government jobs for the poor members of upper castes who have been excluded from existing quotas for low-ranking castes” (Seattle Times). Compare this initiative to affirmative action in colleges, and to those who oppose it: how does this bill keep the “upper” caste minority in power? “Until now, [almost fifty percent] of government jobs and places in state-funded educational institutions were allocated to the lower castes” (Seattle Times). This was a change brought about because of the socioeconomic oppression faced by “lower” caste Indians due to the caste system, brought about in 1947 soon after independence from Britain. “The castes were ostensibly professional divisions but were locked firmly into place by birth and a rigid structure of social rules that governed interaction between and within them” (NY Times 20130616). Caste-based discrimination has been “illegal” for over sixty years but de facto discrimination still exists. One way to understand this partially is that caste in India acts similarly to race in America, but race in India also acts like race in America. Social politics are more affected by caste than economic politics (that is, marriage and segregation, rather than jobs and education). Like America’s systems of affirmative action, India practiced “reservation” to attempt to redistribute power — specifically through job and education quotas for Dalits and Adivasis. “Some say that nearly all university seats are reserved for lower castes, effectively blocking Brahmins [the “uppermost” caste] from higher education. Others point out that the vast majority of high paying jobs are still in the hands of the top three castes” (NY Times 20130616). Consider here how systemic causes for socioeconomic division operated in comparison to legally “designed” solutions. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/10/modi-bjp-dalit-hindu-repression-maoist This article presents a socialist take on anti-dalit and contemporary caste realities in India, as perpetuated by the BJP and Modi. https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/india-extends-quotas-in-government-jobs-topoor-upper-caste/ This resource studies social class in India and the authority it holds over economic class. https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/opinion/sunday/caste-is-not-past.html This framing essay examines how caste still exists. It builds off works by B.R. Ambedkar’s writing on Dalit and Adivasi movements in India.

A highly minimized summary of Indian food politics: Access to food is a marker of socioeconomic and caste-based division, not unlike the popularization of “soul food” in the U.S. and how it developed from a lack of access to ingredients due to systemic oppression and separation. “This scarcity [of food] meant eating everything they could lay their hands on — which was usually everything that the upper castes allowed them to eat” (livemint). Meat-eating is already looked down upon in India; past this “meat was not something Dalits could afford, so they...collected the blood, the intestines, and the offall…” (livemint). Additionally, seasonings such as masalas were not financially available to Dalit households. Thus, “the food hierarchy, as… B.R. Ambedkar said, segregates people into three different identities: those who do not eat flesh (at the top), those who eat non-vegetarian food other than beef (in the middle) and those who eat

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beef (at the bottom)...” (livemint). “To underline how food was used as a tool of humiliation for Dalits, Gopal Guru...describes how the distribution of livelihood resources came to be organized strictly around the ‘watertight compartmentalization of India into caste groups’... the power relationship is mediated through the restriction on food” (Food As A Metaphor For Cultural Hierarchies). “The lives of some Dalits have changed, especially after the liberalization that started in 1991. It has inevitably influenced their food practices. As Pallavi says, “In Maharashtra, contemporary urban Dalit food is mostly spicy, heavy on oil—both of which were hallmarks of rich people’s food. The high use of salt, oil and chilli, therefore, is a reaction to the Dalit sense of deprivation” (livemint). Though Euro-American food contexts value plant-based diets for their ethical and environmental stances, in India, consumption of beef is a “political act of subversion in the context of its current ban by the Indian state which is transforming unapologetically into a theocracy under the aegis of Hindu fundamentalist groups” (sagepub 10.1177). “The paper argues that contrary to the notion that vegetarianism is morally superior, in the context of Hinduism, where vegetarianism is a marker of upper caste identity, the food hierarchy is a function of the caste structure. Hence, the protests, particularly from the former ‘untouchable’ caste groups, reclaiming the right to eat transgressive foods as a marker of their identity, poses a serious challenge to upper caste hegemony. The violence which ‘vegetarian’ India has unleashed on such transgressions has laid open the structural violence embodied in the caste system and questions its claim to moral superiority” (sagepub 10.1177). In March of 2017, Gujarat made it illegal to slaughter cows — with offences punishable with up to life imprisonment. The BJP (Modi’s party) passed this act, developing off the existing act from 2011. “The bill also proposes imprisonment up to 10 years… for those found to be involved in transportation, sale, and storage of beef. Earlier, the maximum punishment for the same was three years...the state had also earned notoriety for failing to curb vigilantism in the name of cow protection, when four Dalit youths were stripped and flogged by upper-caste Hindu men in Una for allegedly skinning a dead cow” (firstpost 3361958). In contrast to popular opinion, less than forty percent of Indians have stated that they follow a vegetarian diet, but this has been recently contested because of the biases that enter the picture with self-identification and the “cultural and political pressures” of consuming meat. “Government data shows that vegetarian households have higher income and consumption — are more affluent than meat-eating households. The “lower” castes, Dalits...and tribes people are mainly meat eaters” (BBC 43581122). Modi and the BJP advocate for vegetarianism out of the Hindu belief in the sacredness of cows: “more than a dozen states have banned the slaughter of cattle...and during Modi’s rule, vigilante cow protection groups, operating with impunity, have killed people transporting cattle” (BBC 43581122). The myth of Vegetarian India has been propagated in many different ways, perhaps because “the food of the powerful comes to stand in for the food of the people” (BBC 43581122). https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/wJzDhGEE4csaX2BjhjHMsL/A-story-of-culinary-apartheid. html This article discusses how access to food can be a marker of socioeconomic and caste-based division. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1478210318780553 The abstract for this essay provides context on how consumption and development of food is a powerful political act in India. https://www.firstpost.com/politics/life-imprisonment-for-cow-slaughter-makes-gujarat-the-statewith-harshest-laws-on-beef-ban-3361958.html -

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An essay on how criminalization of meat eating came to be, specifically as a result of rising Hindu nationalism. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-43581122 An article on how the BJP, Modi, and Hindu Nationalists dictate laws that further discriminate against Indians based on developments of caste.

A highly minimized summary of Indian food culture: I personally have found that India is the most polarized by the consumption of meat or the lack thereof. Vegetarianism (which in India means not consuming eggs, but still dairy products) is strongly linked to Hinduism, specifically “upper” caste Hinduism. Within this, there is also the further exclusion of certain foods (such as garlic, onions, or mushrooms); Karnataka specifically uses a lot of rice and ragi. Non-vegetarian is the term used to describe any diets that include the consumption of eggs, seafood, and/or meat — there is an interesting comment on this mentioned in this article which says: “As Arunima remarks, ‘[t]he neologism “non-vegetarian”, created by vegetarian India itself speaks volumes, and makes the country possibly the only one in the world where meat is not called by its name! Consequently, the normative status of vegetarianism is reinforced by rendering meat nameless, and by reducing it to a depleted “non” of vegetables’ (Arunima, 2014: unpaged, para 2). This is indicative of the power wielded by vegetarians in India who form a minority of the population.” India is most often divided into North & South India as two distinct cultural regions: those from North are said to be Aryan, and those from the South, Dravidian. Still, there are further regional differences in culture and cuisine: WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THE NORTH:

—— Wheat-based breads, like naan, roti, and stuffed breads (samosas). —— Curries that have gravy, and are cooked primarily with Garam Masala. —— Fenugreek leaves and dried mango powder to elevate sourness. —— Chai often brings an end to a meal.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THE SOUTH:

—— More rice-centric meals: lots of mixed rice dishes (both soupy and dry), such as bisibelabath (a vegetable lentil soup - sambar - with mushy rice) and puliogare (tamarind rice). —— Lentil-based foods, from soups to crepes. Dosa and idli are made with lentils. —— Curds and soups that are mixed with rice, eaten with dry curries. —— Sambar powder is more prominent than Garam Masala. —— Tamarind and bay leaves are the South’s preferred sour ingredients.

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—— Coffee is more common than tea, with filter-drip coffee a Tamil Nadu specialty Eastern India is more influenced by Bangladeshi cuisine styles, whereas Goa and Gujarat on the West (religious hubs) focus on the production and roots of ingredients. Common snacks across India are bhujia and plantain chips. Bhujia is a common name for a variety of stringy fried snacks (mostly made from dough or potatoes). https://food52.com/blog/12848-the-differences-between-northern-southern-indian-food A very elementary blog post on the basics of food in India. http://www.uniindia.com/food-trends-2018-by-foodpanda-a-glimpse-of-india-s-food-trends-fromthe-year-that-was/east/news/1450542.html An article writing out food statistics.

A highly minimized summary of India’s relationship with neighboring nations, the U.S., and the European Union: Looking at the history of intervention from non-South Asian nations in India, what does it mean for RISD and the Center for Complexity to enter this space and teach design thinking? Who “benefits” from the course, and what are those “benefits”? How are such “benefits” aligned in their definition to american- and euro-normative cultures? South Asia, and other nations with a history of being colonized, have long been seen as places in need of development; there is a terrible history of cultural imperialism in India where outsiders claim that people in South Asia need “improvement”, and how did those conditions come to exist? The act of Partition, as conceived of by Britain before colonization ended, is an imperative history lesson that deals with this daily: the current state of affairs between Pakistan and India is indubitably worse now than it had ever been historically (even when the regions were united under a single national name), because of how colonialism affected their understandings of one another. How can teaching and learning be sustainable systems of symbiosis between two nations and/or cultures that benefit each chosen and existing lifestyle as well as create a more empathetic understanding of others’ chosen lifestyles? Since Modi’s government came into power, India’s relationship with Afghanistan and Bangladesh have been pretty good — but with other South Asian countries, not so much. For example, the former president of Sri Lanka (Mahinda Rajapakse) blamed Modi for his loss of the 2015 election to Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda Rajapakse has been accused of participating in the Sri Lankan civil war as an agent against Tamil Eelam, whereas Maithripala Sirisena is a more India-friendly and less China-friendly candidate. Sirisena appointed Rajapakse as the Prime Minister in October 2018, which has been interesting to watch as it relates to India, too. The Maldives are an area of contestation for Indian foreign policy — “the strategic advantages of the archipelago...falling into Chinese hands coupled with the threat of growing Islamic radicalism within its borders means [that India must establish]... warm & cooperative relations with Malé” (firstpost 5247561). Equally troublesome is India’s relationship with Nepal: “...in some circles... India — that has spent years balancing the US and Russia, and in recent times, China and the US — is getting a taste of its own medicine with Kathmandu carrying out its own balancing act of New Delhi and Beijing” (firstpost 5247561). Nepal’s relationship with India is here described as “opportunistic — taking New Delhi’s assistance when required and then throwing India under the bus when China comes a-knocking”; Modi has retaliated to this by switching between hospitality

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& economic “blockades” (firstpost 5247561). “India exerted its influence in Nepal in favor of the Madhesi population to force changes to the allegedly discriminatory provisions of the new constitution because of their Indian origin and cultural ties with the people in the border areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh” (atimes). Bhutan has temporarily left the Bhutan-Bangladesh-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement, as a result of India taking this agreement “for granted”. And since Partition, there remains conflict between Pakistan and India; both seem to go back-and-forth between moving towards peace talks and then calling those talks off or carrying “out a bit of covert action”. This was brought back to light with the recent actions against Jammu and Kashmir in preventing Muslim citizens and residents from leaving their city and enforcing unfair curfews and related laws. Because of these powers and its financial size, India is viewed as a “hegemon” within the context of South Asian nations. Though it has more geographic, traditional, and cultural similarities to its neighbors, China has a stronger financial, technological, and infrastructural contribution without any ties to the shared history of South Asian nations. “In its first couple of years, the Modi government went on a rampage in terms of reaching out to the neighbourhood and trying to strike a new note that would be conducive to harmonious coexistence”; as promising as this initial groundwork was, there has been a lack of follow through, with the current state of Pakistan as evidence (firstpost 5247561). Historically, India’s moves to “maintain its political sphere of influence” have led to undesired results — New Delhi’s involvement in the Sri Lankan civil war ended with India becoming “a party to the cycle of violence in Sri Lanka” (atimes). Since the U.S. stopped intervening in the Sri Lankan civil war, China stepped in; after the war ended, China continued to financially develop Sri Lanka. Since then, China and India have “fought” for influence over Sri Lanka, with Sri Lanka more allied with China from 2005-2015. https://www.cfr.org/interactives/global-conflict-tracker#!/conflict/conflict-between-india-and-pakistan An resource with information primarily about Pakistan and India, with one important note that contextualizes the article as one of US origin: “The United States has identified South Asia as an epicenter of terrorism and religious extremism and so has an interest in ensuring regional stability, preventing nuclear weapons proliferation, and minimizing the potential of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.” https://www.firstpost.com/india/indias-muddled-south-asia-policy-latest-pakistan-saga-is-symptom-of-new-delhis-lack-of-long-term-strategy-5247561.html An article, with a specific mention of Nepal and India’s relationship contrasted between that of U.S. and China, and U.S. and Russia. http://www.atimes.com/new-delhi-and-beijing-vie-for-influence-in-sri-lanka/ An article on India and Sri Lanka, specifically regarding the ethnic ties between Tamil Nadu with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Eelam population. https://thediplomat.com/2018/03/tibet-and-indias-china-policy/ An article on the relationship between India, China, and Tibet. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/the-india-bangladesh-bond-is-dominated-by-domestic-compulsions/story-diicm9i2yj0V7zPJfrcjQL.html An article on India and Bangladesh, including information about the Rohingya crisis and Indo-Bengali relations in the context of contemporary politicians’ handling of Indian sociopolitics. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/how-india-strengthened-foreign-relations-in-2018-expectations-for-2019-1417965-2018-12-27 -

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An article with an overview of India’s political status in 2018. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/2018-a-landmark-year-for-india-us-strategic-relationship/articleshow/67308547.cms An article on the relationship between India and Trump’s America.

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Attachment 2 - A Brief Guide to Writing Briefs: How and Why to Design a Brief TABLE OF CONTENTS Briefs at RCC Briefs in Courses Brief Supplements and Collaborators Primer Documents Site Visits Speaker Day Exploratory Design Process Writing the Brief Itself Worksheet Guide Stakeholder mapping Intent, Goals, and Context Research Structuring Positioning Statement Brief Question Templates for Presentation (Internal and External) Metrics of Success Working with Social Equity and Inclusion

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Briefs at RCC… have a unique place, as they are the most intimate ways in which cohorts interact with both the Center and the principles it is trying to explore. They outline the goals of the course through metaphor, example, and analysis, often working at varying scales to point the students towards a greater understanding of critical systems thinking and inquiry. Briefs have two major requirements at RCC. First, they should involve or consider a site visit, or a day-long convening of “experts” in the field. Second, they lead to an exploratory design process.

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Briefs in courses… are meant to convey the major themes of the overarching educational framework. Most often, the briefs work in collaboration with one another to aid other elements of the course, such as critique, one-off workshops, and seminars. At RCC, we find it beneficial to work upwards in scale, beginning with intimate and local experiences before we go to systemic and global occurrences. With this help, briefs can ground the course in students’ practices, exemplifying the role of design thinking across scale and location.

Brief Supplements and Collaborators There are notable collaborators who aid the creation and delivery of briefs, themselves. These documents are: —— Primers Which provide context to the topics, queries, and references of the brief itself —— Internal Reflection Documentation Which acts as a tracking method to understand RCC’s progress in development —— External Documentation Including, but not limited to, photo documentation and designed brief templates —— With the aid of these documents, briefs find a home within RCC’s broader goals in: understanding the development of critical inquiry pedagogy; establishing itself as an innovator in communication of design thinking ideas; and addressing its subjectivity in the pursuit of these endeavors.

PRIMERS

Primers offer entry points to the briefs, accelerating students through some of the basic research they’ll need to do, while offering some promising initial lenses they might use to inquire. Primers show readers how RCC sees and defines the topics they are discussing, specifically describing how individuals and environments within this topic relate to one another. When writing your primer, consider the following: —— What is interesting about this topic? Identify broad questions first, then begin to create specific questions. —— What systems of complexity does this topic interact with? Identify what the topic (and its theorists or critics) explores. —— What are specific historical examples to cite? What case studies are significant? Which examples stand out? Identify cultural and regional milestones, as well as systems design markers. Distinguish the significance of each example, and explain why you chose to use it. —— What are essential facts and subtopics within this topic?


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An effective way of doing this is to look at how academia and institutions address the topic at hand — what are all the different ways they talk about the topic, and what are the overlaps? —— What are common values and/or stances on the topic? Identify how people address this topic, and what their criticisms or praises of it are. It can be particularly helpful to compose a single-page document that explains the topic effectively (for the purpose of the brief ) to someone who has no experience designing with the topic. Be sure to include an acknowledgement that this primer is, in fact, just a primer, and is compiled with your biased resources and interests. RCC recommends that briefs are three paragraphs of simple language with embedded links to different resources and references, presented alongside (or before) the brief question itself. SITE VISITS

Site visits are integral to RCC’s brief strategy, as they provide an opportunity in which students can engage directly with people, environments, and objects involved in the topics they are studying. It is a method to introduce research skills and methods to students, in a way that prioritizes consumer and client voices over designer assumptions. Site visits are typically half a day or longer. They have a fairly flexible structuring. with some visits leaning towards pre-planned administrator-led tours and others being free exploratory periods in a specified region. Take a look into this document to see what we’ve done in the past. When planning your site visit, consider the following: —— What is the topic at hand, and who are its local players? —— Which of these players can provide interesting insight to the students? Why? How? —— How accessible is this site visit to the general community? To the students? To people of different sociopolitical and socioeconomic abilities? To people of different physical and mental abilities? —— Which method of interaction will be most fruitful for students to draw their own research and conclusions for the brief? —— How will you introduce and conclude the site visit? —— How will you integrate reflection? Of course, there will also be matters of technical organization. Remember to plan accordingly for transportation, budget, food, access, and weather. SPEAKER DAY

Speaker days are a secondary method of having students interact with different players in the topic of choice. This day-long workshop provides students with access to professionals across the spectrum of specificity and transparency, giving a specific moment for students to contend with the realities of systemic relationships. When choosing speakers for your students to interact with, consider the following questions: —— What scales do the speakers represent and reference? Ensure you have local and global workers.

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—— What levels of industrial and professional recognition do these speakers have? Consider ideas of expertise, and how institutions can negatively and positively shape the reception of an individual’s prowess. —— What languages do these speakers work with? Other than the issue of linguistic communication, examine the role of jargon in communications. Notice whether it is important to have speakers who introduce students to industry language, or whether it is important to have speakers who use students’ language to discuss industries. —— How accessible are these speakers to the general public? To the students? To people of different socioeconomic and sociopolitical abilities? To people of different physical and mental abilities? —— What are the specific questions and/or subtopics you want the students to consider and interact with? Will you be fostering these interactions, or will they be spearheaded by the students themselves? —— How will you be introducing, concluding, and reflecting on this series of conversations?

EXPLORATORY DESIGN PROCESS

This is the implementation of the brief itself, providing students with a multi-day period in which they can interact with the topic through critical inquiry and design thinking. This timeline is most dictated by the lifespan of the course and the sponsorship. Take into consideration how much guidance you wish to provide across the multi-day work period, and think about the following: —— Should there be cohort-wide workshops? —— How often will you meet with and critique students’ work? —— How does this fit into the broader course schedule, and work with other briefs? As you continue on to write the brief sentence and its documentation, keep the aforementioned collaborative supplements in mind, optimizing the relationship between all parts of this endeavor.

The brief writing process… at RCC is made accessible and transportable here, with a worksheet last updated in 2019. This editable presentation is a concise look into RCC’s recommended brief-writing process. The following pages are an accompanying guide that expands the content within the worksheet: STAKEHOLDERS EXPECTATIONS

We begin with stakeholders, who are members of the endeavor with significant claims to its impact and effects. The primary stakeholders we wish for you to consider are The Center, students in the cohort, and the sponsor (which, for this year is Infosys). By identifying the expectations of the stakeholders, the brief writer can identify what each constituent is looking for, and begin to address those expectations. Here, it could be relevant to consider

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that: —— The Center would like to develop and maintain its image as global instructors of critical inquiry. —— The Students would like to have one-on-one discussions with design instructors. —— The Sponsor (Infosys) would like to develop its staff to utilise design thinking in their current roles. It is important to record whether these are assumed expectations or written expectations, both of which can be useful. In the pursuit of the latter, cite the contracts written between The Center and The Sponsor. For the former, consider how close you can get to extracting legitimate expectations. The specific ties between these aforementioned expectations could lead the brief writer to develop a schedule in which instructors can sit down with each student and discuss how they personally see what they have learned applying to the position they currently hold at Infosys, while drawing comparisons across varying fields of design and critical thinking. As important as expectations are, it is also important to consider needs — for instance, it is different if a student wants to read work from a trans author, versus if they need to read work from a trans author. Again, it is important to record whether these needs are assumed or confirmed. INTENT

As you may have noticed already, it is important to acknowledge that the brief writer is, in fact, a biased controller of the information that RCC presents. This is where it becomes imperative that the brief writer states their intent, with writing the brief, working with RCC, or otherwise. By putting this out, the readers of the brief have a clearer lens through which to examine the brief. It is equally important to outline the intent of the brief itself — does it aim to teach the students how to research a historical event? Or to experiment with paper as a model-making material? These intentions can change the wording of the brief, and can also convey its purpose to all brief readers. GOALS & CONTEXTS

Goals are a synthesis of the aforementioned intents and expectations. When listing your goals for this brief, consider a variety of scales and timeframes that aren’t limited to the life of the Sponsor/ Center relationship. Example 1: Students become familiar with sketching as ideation. Example 2: Students independently apply design thinking to address healthcare. Once you have outlined major goals, establish what has been covered in the course up to this point that will support the students in these goals. These can include skills, concepts, personal or professional connections, etc. Be specific, using names and anecdotes that the students will recognize to see how the students are prepared for the course, and how they understand how the course builds on itself. DESK RESEARCH

Given RCC’s cemented belief in integrating research and experience to examine complexity, this is the most significant part of our brief writing. Research offers not only a background and a stepping stone, but will also frame students’ responses — which can be helpful, or unproductive. Take this

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into consideration when approaching your resources. The diagram in this section looks at the range of briefs, and how they can be highly student-led versus highly instructor-led. In both cases, the research informs the outcomes of the brief — but the former focuses on student interests, skills, and desires in a conceptual manner, while the latter highlights instructors’ abilities and teaches in a more technical fashion. One brief may require that students do research on their own, either on an instructor-provided topic or on an endeavor of the student’s choice, while the following brief could succeed better with pre-populated research. Consider the following when making decisions regarding research: —— What is the relevance of your resources to the interests of your students, specific to the questions you are all trying to consider? —— Try to distill the research essence — what will guide answer-finding in this situation? —— How can you and your students bring different things to the table to help one another? Take a deeper look at these examples for more detailed information: —— readingzimbabwe.com — This resource considers curation, bias, and presentation. It presents content in categories + is annotated, with acknowledgement of bias in the making of the annotation. This resource also considers longevity, accessibility, and preservation. —— Damian White’s Climate Futures & Just Transitions — This resource considers range, bias, and presentation. It presents fewer than four sources from divergent viewpoints to establish a spectrum. —— Chris Specce’s Drawing Class — This resource considers communication, transparency, and accessibility. It presents content through videos, written supplements, and example. —— d-school mixtape presentation (Chart A New Course Put Design Thinking To Work) — This resource considers accessibility, alternative presentation, and ordering. —— List of links as raw html — This resource considers hierarchy, maximized objectivity, and range. —— Caroline Woolard’s wall exercise — This resource considers input, customizability, and temporality. It uses research from before class along with Research In The Moment to extend the brief’s lifespan. —— Chloe Wilwerding Research Approaches — This resource considers variety, medium, and personality. It asks the student to expand their considerations of what is research/resource. —— Paul Soulellis — This resource considers digital communication, presentation, and longevity. It relies on communication through apps like Slack to consider the accessibility of delivered information. —— Caroline Woolard “Artist as Educator”— This resource considers collaboration, customizability, and writing. It uses communal learning tools to encourage students to examine design thinking outside “traditional” realms of design.

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STRUCTURING

After considering the content with which you will build your brief, examine how you wish (for yourself and for your students) to interact with the information. The spectrum on this page looks at the role of customization and guidance, and how different levels of each can engage different methods of teaching and learning. Here, RCC uses the terms “directed” and “exploratory” to describe the brief’s scaffolding — the former focuses on heavily structured schedules which are organized around instructor-specified explorations, while the latter is more interested in examining how the students guide their own learning. For the most part, RCC asks that briefs in a course work together to move students from directed prompts to exploratory prompts. Primary briefs should focus on students learning a process, while latter briefs will test for the implementation and practice of those briefs. When considering the structure of your brief, examine how the brief will be used in conjunction with the course at large. Are you wishing to impart a specific skill set upon your students, that they do not yet have experience with? Are you hoping to work with your students to collaboratively produce an equal exchange of knowledge and power? Are you looking to do both — or neither? POSITIONING STATEMENT

The positioning statement in a brief efficiently explains why and how the brief functions as it does. It identifies the role of the instructor, the designer, the student, the user, etc. Positioning statements are useful to have on a brief because they can help students understand the desires of the instructor in a succinct manner, communicating which nuances they should study in detail and which to overlook. Consider the following positioning statements, and their effects: —— Eyebeam’s Understanding Internet With Herbivore — This statement outlines that the brief is meant for students who are interested in learning what “packet sniffing” in the realm of coding means. —— Caroline Woolard “Artist as Educator” — This statement outlines the different categories of positioning statements to consider, in a more meta-cognitive manner. —— “Fighting to Save Our Communities” — This brief has a statement of intent as its positioning statement, identifying key players in the call for change regarding Community Land Trusts. Alongside the examples above, look at how people explore the role of transparency with regards to the readers of the brief — what happens when context is shown or hidden? What motivates you to do so? How is that choice implemented? —— RCC recommends that your positioning statement specifically outlines the following: —— How this brief relates to other briefs within the course (and why) —— Who the instructors will be (and why) —— Where the site visits will occur (and why)

BRIEF QUESTION

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This question is the moment of summarization that readers will continue to re-examine over the course of the brief. It will perhaps be the most well-read portion of the brief, and thus carries a great deal of weight. Consider, carefully, the language you use to communicate the brief’s needs, expectations, and intents. Begin by identifying the topics of the overarching course, and the brief itself. Are you discussing food, banking, education…? Consider scales to work within next, to set boundaries within which the students can consider the scope of their thoughts. Does this concern a localized system, or the network between larger global systems? Look at the different entities within that scale, and try to map their relationship to one another. For example, when considering food vendors in Mysore, students started by looking at the relationships between vendors, suppliers, government officials, farmers, and food shoppers — this is but a small list of all the involved parties. The goal of this portion is for you to identify as many different perspectives in and out of the brief as possible. This leads us to a larger consideration of the brief and its intended scope. Once you establish relationships, networks, and issues of significance within your chosen topic, try to find a few different angles with which to discuss the larger topic. For example, a question regarding the future of relationships between Dalit farmers and banks could enter through the lens of government outreach, or through educational training. Each would involve different site and speaker participants, and can create different outputs. When writing this statement, RCC asks that you respect the following: —— Limit the question to no more than three lines. —— Refrain from using jargon. —— Outline the exact desires for the deliverable. Do your best to find a balance between a sharp or brittle prompt, which allows for the students to build upon the brief question, but also tear it down if need be. TEMPLATES FOR MEDIUM AND OPTIMIZATION

Here, RCC asks that you consider the main goal of your brief, and which method of presentation will augment its intents and expectations best. When looking at this information regarding templates, examine which moments and pieces are better for scaffolding and which are better for presentation. The following are brief templates that RCC has developed, each with its own pros and cons: —— Handout —— Mixtape —— Webpage —— Poster There are two different venues that brief mediums come into play: one is purely internal, and the other is external. For instance, the brainstorming worksheet with which you are developing the brief is for you only — and from it, there are details that can be extracted for presentation to other RCC staff.

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Here is a template for what to include when presenting information to RCC staff. It distills the essence of your brief, and identifies moments for critique and feedback. This document considers and presents: —— The brief question This should be no longer than 2-3 sentences, which are “sharp but brittle”. This is to say... —— A drafted primer document Ideally, this draft has at least a list of sentences and phrases that the final document will formally compose. —— Two to three primer questions When possible, write multiple primer questions, and choose for yourself the top two or three. Then, receive feedback from the rest of RCC staff and see which fits the course and sponsorship best. —— Metric outline Provide your peers with an idea of what you want this brief to accomplish within the context of the sponsorship and course. —— Template ideas and draft iterations Create a few versions of presenting the brief, however rough, to show RCC peers different ways that the brief can be shared.

Metrics of Success Briefs can provide background on why certain content is chosen and presented, to increase the transparency of the design process & have folks consider why they are given certain sources. When evaluating the success of a brief, consider the following: —— Has discussion been elevated? In what ways? Regarding which topics? —— Has it gained or lost specificity? In what ways? Regarding which topics? —— Does it connect students to others in the field? In what ways? Regarding which topics? —— Does it connect students’ work within the classroom? In what ways? Regarding which topics? This section contains three different metrics for success, each according to a specific set of needs. RCC REQUIREMENTS - METRIC

The following are logistical and technical requirements that you will need to consider with the writing of your brief: —— Have you planned a site visit? —— Where to? —— With whom? —— Have you invited speakers? —— How are they in conversation with one another?

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—— Have you organized a schedule across which the brief will take place, working with the course designer? —— Have you printed your brief materials, including student and faculty guidebooks? —— Have you accounted for your brief’s supply costs, and ensured that there will be a sufficient quality and quantity for all participants? —— Have you received approval of the brief from the course sponsor?

RCC MISSIONS - METRIC

The following are conceptual and framing goals that RCC would like your brief to considerably contribute to: —— Does your brief take into account and respond to sociopolitical issues of the course site? —— Does your brief account for the different in socioeconomic ability of the students? Of the instructors? Of the sponsors? —— Does your brief consider its longevity past the lifetime of the course? Of the sponsorship? —— Is your brief sufficiently presentable to all RCC funders and supporters? —— Will your brief provide students with presentation materials for their future employers? —— Will your brief (re-)introduce critical discussions regarding social justice, equity, and inclusion? —— Does your brief acknowledge and account for its role in Euro-American hegemonic design? —— Does your brief actively contend with its relation to systems of complexity, including but not limited to: cultural imperialism, classism, racism, and colonialism? —— Does your brief encourage students to contribute to teaching and learning? —— Does your brief allow for the instructor to develop their professional abilities? —— Does your brief contribute to the development of interdisciplinary relationships? RCC asks that you follow the aforementioned questions with specific regards to RISD’s SEIA Plan, and demands that you condone and act against colonial and cultural imperialism in all its forms. BRIEF AND WRITER/INSTRUCTOR SPECIFIC - METRIC

The final metric is intended to be developed by the brief writer, and will be used as the template for reflection during the lifetime of the brief. It is important to outline the metrics against which you would like for this brief to be graded, so that these moments can be taken into consideration during daily check-ins. The following are some examples, but need not be present in your metric at all: —— Are students engaged with the topic in a personal or professional way? —— Has the brief prompted discussions between students/instructors/sponsors? —— Are there physical deliverables that can be archived for RCC’s internal management? —— Limit yourself to five points of reflection when possible, and try to distill their difference

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from the two prior metrics as best as possible. Immediately after you have written your brief, run it by yourself through all three metrics to establish a ground from which to gauge future reflections.

Working with Social Equity and Inclusion… is carefully intertwined with RCC briefs. We believe that humanity faces a crisis in how we structure knowledge. It is a platform for transdisciplinary collaboration and innovation informed by global events and creative practices. RISD is a community committed to social equity and inclusion. We value diversity as a strength, and share core principles of access, agency, and mutual respect, both on campus and through our individual interactions around the world. [As an institution that welcomes] individuals of all faiths, ethnicities, and nationalities, we expect that anyone participating in RISD programs respects and supports our position and values, even if they do not share them. RISD’s Strategic Design Program is designed to initiate and steward challenging conversations between people who think divergently and have varied personal and professional backgrounds. Diversity of thought and openness to new ideas are the key factors behind the SDP’s continued relevance and impact. Considering these mission statements, revise and review your brief to ensure that it prioritizes social justice, equity, inclusion, and access. When reviewing your brief, reconsider the following questions from above: —— What systems, scales, and symbols of social complexity does this topic interact with? —— What are the cultural, historical, and regional examples you are citing? What drove you, as the brief writer, to choose these resources? —— How do you contend with accessibility across your brief? To the general community? To the students? To people of different sociopolitical and socioeconomic abilities? To people of different physical and mental abilities? —— What levels of industrial, professional, social or other recognition do your resources rely on? Consider ideas of expertise, and how institutions can negatively and positively shape the reception of an individual’s prowess. —— What languages does your brief use? Read this technically and more abstractly — how are you relying on and working with communication in this brief? —— How are you guiding conversation, learning, and thinking? What drives you, as the brief writer, to point brief readers in those directions? What are your implicit biases and subjective tendencies that lead you down these paths? —— At what level have you considered social, economic, and political ability? Of the students? Of the instructors? Of the sponsors? Of yourself? —— How does your brief actively create dialogue concerning social justice, equity, and inclu-

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sion? —— How does your brief acknowledge and account for its role in Euro-American hegemonic design? —— How does your brief actively contend with its relation to systems of complexity, including but not limited to: cultural imperialism, classism, racism, and colonialism? —— How do you acknowledge your presence in this brief? How do you acknowledge the presence of other influencers (and recipients) in this brief? As stated above, it is imperative that you condone and actively act against colonial and cultural imperialism, specifically as it exists within arts and design systems pedagogy.

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Attachment 3 - Land Acknowledgement 1.0: “Today and for the length of our convening, we have been [& are currently] amongst the land of the Narragansett, Wampanoag, and Mohegan People. I would like to take this time, before we commence our final remarks, to frame ourselves in the broader context of what has occurred here before contemporary existence, by delivering a land acknowledgment. Land acknowledgments stem from the practices of the first-known Indigenous and Native inhabitants of Turtle Island (now known as North America), but have grown to discuss other forms of oppression. By acknowledging the land we are on, we can: —— recognize & account for our individual & collective participation in systems of White Supremacy; —— create greater public awareness of the true story & history of oppression within North America; —— and remind people that colonization is an ongoing process, with systems of White Supremacy still oppressing Indigenous & Native People; —— those enslaved & oppressed due to the Atlantic Slave Trade; —— and other marginalized identities, whose influence has been kept from the contemporary canon of this land’s history. I would like to begin by thanking our land’s hosts and history, acknowledging that we are currently on stolen territory within Turtle Island. The first-known inhabitants of the area we are currently in are the Narragansett. After decades of trading with the Indigenous hosts of Turtle Island, colonizers massacred a group of Narragansett women, children, and elderly men. Many Narragansett were subsequently forced to leave the area. Those who remained had their lands appropriated, forcing resettlement in deep forests and swamp lands, which make up their modern day Reservation. Any Narragansett who openly fought against colonial oppression were assassinated or enslaved. The remaining Narragansett-settled land was further depleted by colonizers’ misuse of local resources, and land “reallocation” as an illegal form of debt collection. The state of Rhode Island illegally detribalized the Narragansett in an attempt to stifle Narragansett resistance. Similar actions, such as forced conversion and assimilation, were used by colonizers in attempts to stamp out Narragansett culture. The Narragansett Tribe continued to maintain its traditional leadership and cultural practices. The Narragansett Leaders have long petitioned and rallied against RI state actions & policies against Native & Indigenous Presence. In honoring the practices of Indigenous and Native first people in Turtle Island, I also wish to pay my respects to the Narragansett Leaders, past & present — Like Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas — for their leadership and presence in today’s gathering. The Mohegan Nation identifies the grouping together of the Native and Indigenous survivors of colonial massacre in the North Eastern United States region. These tribes used to be distinct nations, but have merged due to systemic oppression. It currently consists of Shinnecock, Mohegan/Pequot, and Narragansett People, many of whom have mixed Native heritage. I also wish to pay

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my respects to Mohegan Leaders, past & present, of individual tribes and of collective nations, for their leadership and presence. We are also neighboring Mashpee Wampanoag Territory. The Wampanoag Nation, which originally consisted of sixty tribes, was decimated by diseases, such as yellow fever, brought over by European colonizers. European colonizers massacred the Mashpee Wampanoag (one of three surviving Wampanoag Nations) — enslaving some survivors — and cutting down their population by nearly fifty percent. Those who remained were driven out of their homelands, their lands appropriated. I wish to pay my respects to Mashpee Wampanoag Leaders, past and present, for their leadership and presence. Rhode Island was also the only New England settler colony in which enslaved African and Black Americans were bought, sold, and worked, at the end of the 17th century. Much of the Atlantic Slave Trade was conducted through neighboring ports in Newport and Bristol. Most of the architecture we reside in, walk by, and even study in (with Brown University) were the results of the unpaid labor of enslaved people. The economies, traditions, vernaculars, and lifestyles we rely on are based on the enslavement and systemic oppression of African & Black Americans, Indigenous and Native Peoples, and other marginalized identities. Please join me in taking a moment to recognize and reflect on the centuries of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that have led to us being here and doing what we do at this convening. This is, of course, a very preliminary step in the movement for reparations in the United States, but I hope that we can all continue to honor and recognize the truth in our forthcoming endeavors, especially as we continue exploring the relationships between land and people, pasts and futures, ourselves and food.

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Attachment 4 - Local Complexity Fellowship: TABLE OF CONTENTS Overview & Opportunity The Fellowship Tree Formal Position Summary Goals and Expectations Systemic Frames for Inquiry Rationale Relevance Guiding Criteria for Research Mandatory Frameworks Potential Topics of Inquiry Potential Collaborators for Inquiry Stakeholder Expectations Documentation Expectations Fellowship Annual Timeline Review Committee Formation Collaborator Partnerships & Their (Re)Negotiation Application Process Expectations and Commitments Deliverables: Frames, Insights, Instruments Epistemologies For Consideration Levels of Knowledge Communication Fellow x Collaborator The Center x Fellow Collaborator x The Center Closure Process Reflection Process Passing the Torch Continued Relationship Between Center & Fellow

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Overview and Opportunity THE FELLOWSHIP TREE

In an attempt to rebalance the distribution of funds across all institutional constituents, the Center for Complexity has advocated for a student-oriented Fellowship to equally consider the efforts of different community members in pursuing systems inquiry. This opportunity is designed to benefit selected community members’ practices, while advancing the reputation of the Center as loci of important systems thinking and laying the foundation for it to be a global “center of excellence” to benefit scholars, a diverse range of external partners, and the greater Providence community. We offer autonomy, intellectual support, and funding to advance inquiry around some of the most pressing issues for society at large. It is recommended that the Fellowship is organized such that four students will participate each year in the program. These fellows will combine to make a significant chunk of the Center constituency, contributing greatly to work culture, dialogues, and inquiries. Student fellows will change fairly infrequently, with fellowships lasting two years in alternating pairs. Each year, two new students will be enrolled in the program to pursue systems inquiry in conjunction with the Center and their own practices. The fellowship will commence with two inaugural thinkers who will embark on a two-year research project. In the second year of their fellowship, the Center will hire two new fellows to make a cohort of four. This cohort will be grouped as a professional networking entity, enabling a cyclical mentor/mentee relationship to be established across all fellowship participants. POSITION SUMMARY

The RISD Center for Complexity Fellowship engages with local communities by applying critical systems-based inquiry and design thinking to further integrate RISD with its surrounding neighbors. Student participants are supported in their endeavor to bring a project to completion in a way that allows for professional participation in systems inquiry as relevant to their disciplinary practice and shareable with the wider world. The Center further promotes their work with professional mentorship, funding for activities related to the projects, and access to a global network of practitioners and thinkers. As part of a duo, each student works on their own thing, while maintaining regular contact with the Center and their co-Fellow to help support and critique the work. As a part of a cohort of four, each student will fill the aforementioned roles, as well as the role of cohort advocate, student representative, and junior review committee. The role of cohort advocate ensures that the entire body of student collaborators see that elements within their own practices are reflected in the larger scale community; they ensure the well-being of each other as student workers. The role of student representative entails ensuring that the Center is aware of conversations happening amongst the student body, and advocating for those students’ desires in front of administration. On the junior review committee, fellows will help with the critique of cohort and faculty fellowship projects. They are equally valued voices in larger conversations happening at the Center, and have equal weight in approval processes of documentation, programming, and internal or external policy. Fellows who participate will develop projects and initiatives that engage with local organizations, collectives, and communities, to address structural inequities that RISD is complicit in. This is meant to be a reparative Fellowship, with the Fellow and the organization/collective/community receiving funding for their participation.

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The Fellowship is a two-year appointment for students currently enrolled at RISD (in any year), and works closely with administrators and other Fellows to create a sustainable, long-term relationship between the institution and its neighbors. Though not recommended, the Fellowship can be adjusted to have different numbers of students each year; however, there should be enough students such that each student receives a singular mentor, and is only in charge of mentoring a singular mentee. Student participants are required to work a total of 150 hours for each year of their Fellowship, including on-site hours, leadership training, and extra events. Upon completion of each year of the program, the Fellow will receive a $4000 award rather than an hourly wage. This is to mitigate any restrictions on student work-study hours; however, if a student needs for this fellowship to be work-study, they can also advocate for such a position. In the event where grants, scholarships, income, or gifts negatively affect the student’s access to other forms of assistance, the Center will work closely and intensely with Human Resources to find other forms of financial accommodation of equal or higher value. In addition, the Center offers logistical support for booking space, hosting events and meetings, and connecting the Fellow to the various resources of the school as appropriate. Organizational participants are required to host up to two student participants for up to 150 hours over the course of the school year. The Center has a list of organizations that already have collaborations in progress with the RISD community (whether through research initiatives or through reparations efforts, as outlined in the SEI Report); however, the Center is also willing and interested in working with potential fellows to find organizations of significance. They will also be asked to host one event each semester, either on their campus or on RISD’s, to engage both constituencies together. The following are guidelines for choosing collaborative organizations: —— Be created, managed, and run by people of color who are Native or Indigenous to Rhode Island, or the descendants of people who were enslaved during the Atlantic Slave Trade. —— Have agendas of decolonization already in place. —— Indicate a need for further financial assistance with regards to programming, outreach, or public relations. —— Have an investment in creating change or fostering equity, namely for people with marginalized identities (e.g. feminist organizations or Black Lives Matter coalitions). —— Be tangentially related to systems design, perhaps through advocacy, convening, resourcing, researching, education, exhibition. —— Self-identify as arts, advocacy, design, or community organizations, whether through nonor for-profit, government, or privately-supported infrastructure. Upon confirmation of application, the organization will receive $4000 each year to fund their side of the fellowship and thank them for their participation, in addition to material resources (such as discounts, vans, studio spaces). All participants will be marked as members of a network of systems inquirers who have worked through or with RISD. The Complexity Network is an online platform with a running list of the names and contact information of all collaborators of the Center; this is an effort to ensure that all members of the local community has involvement in networks that are systemically inacessible. It will function as a platform for further collaboration past the tenure of the fellowship itself, and will be accessible to a number of Center community members.

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GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS

This Fellowship is designed to foster and sustain healthy reparative relationships between the Center, RISD, and local communities in Providence. By focusing on student fellows, this program will highlight the scales at which systems intervention is possible, and how redistribution of resources can contribute to a holistic approach to community accountability. The Fellowship is built on the understanding that the current relationship between the Center for Complexity, the RISD community, and the greater Providence neighborhood is not fully networked with regards to equitable systems inquiry and design. Currently, RISD is not being equitable in how it integrates its communities with local Providence communities; there is an imbalance in the maintenance of this ecosystem. The program is expected to contribute positively to the relationship between members of the aforementioned groups in a manner that is reflected through the financial, cultural, and programmatic personalities of the groups’ governing bodies. The Fellowship is one of the many ways that the Center holds itself accountable for formalizing reparations initiatives by sharing funding and resources with those that the foundation of RISD has pushed aside or oppressed. —— The Fellowship, its participants, and its stakeholders are expected to be committed to fostering long-lasting healthy relationships within local changemaking communities, through the following core beliefs: —— Provide and sustain opportunities for collaboration that challenges the roles of intellectual canons, has been, and could be across a variety of different professional fields (especially arts and design). —— Develop professional leadership skills that are cemented in decolonization. —— Embed a sense of Communal Accountability, where shared investment across community groups is a requirement for equitable success and reparative justice. —— Support and value more forms of labor, including emotional labor, through financial and material sponsorship. —— Acknowledge and reward more forms of knowledge sharing, advocacy, and making, specifically referencing the Center’s library and views on decolonization.

Guiding Criteria for Research SYSTEMIC FRAMEWORKS FOR INQUIRY

The Center has identified the following frameworks as essential to its everyday operations: —— Social Equity, Inclusion, and Justice [specific language about our approach & Ethos] —— Knowledge Hierarchies and Epistemologies [specific language about our approach & Ethos] —— Local, Global, and Other Systems [specific language about our approach & Ethos] —— Climate Change and Environmental Well-Being [specific language about our approach & Ethos]

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These four frameworks operate as guiding topics that must be discussed in each of the Center’s endeavors. For Fellows, this means that the presentation of their two-year project must address its relationship to social equity, inclusion and justice; knowledge hierarchies and epistemologies; local, global, and other Systems; and climate change and environmental well-being. Fellows are expected to uphold these values in all of their work; in the event of critique, Fellows are encouraged and expected to voice their concerns so that the Center continues to progress in reparative justice efforts. The four frameworks also apply to both the host organization and the Center. Supervisors and/or mentors at both organizations are expected to advocate for the development of the frameworks, and ensure that their internal programming reflects this criticality. POTENTIAL TOPICS OF INQUIRY

This is an ever-changing list of topics that the Center has investigated, is currently investigating, or hopes to investigate. Fellows can choose to further inquire about the topics that the Center has worked with, or propose their own. The intent behind providing these topics is to outline which projects will have additional support through the Center’s own experience. However, this does not mean that fellows can’t propose or pursue their own topics of inquiry. The Center is willing to work with Fellows to make sure that the topics of inquiry are sustainable given the time, resources, and support that the institution can provide. Every year, the Center will pick three higher priority topics for analysis. It is recommended that the following topics are examined: —— Civic Forums —— Futures of Food —— Systems of Trust —— Epistemologies of Evidence

POTENTIAL COLLABORATORS FOR INQUIRY

A significant portion of this Fellowship relies on the relationship between the Fellow and an organization located outside of the RISD institution and within the greater Providence community. The Center encourages collaboration with organizations that are in the process of decolonizing themselves or their communities, or are interested in doing so and asked for assistance, and are active members of their communities who advocate for the aforementioned four frameworks. This asserts the belief that reparations and their related actions do not come to fruition through questions of need; reparations are owed. The following are organizational collaborators that the Center has connections with: —— RISD Center for Social Equity The following is a format for a list to be created, which will detail individuals in the local community that the Center has connections with and their topics of expertise and interest: —— Kent Kleinman, _____ (Topics of Expertise & Interest: _______)

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STAKEHOLDER EXPECTATIONS

The Center for Complexity is primarily funded through a partnership with Infosys. The Center maintains autonomy in its day to day operations of its programs, including this fellowship. Infosys has little direct interaction with Fellows, unless upon special request by the Fellow themselves. Otherwise, all communications from the financial stakeholder will occur through a Center representative. DOCUMENTATION EXPECTATIONS

Fellowship documentation is an important way for all participants in the program to keep track of and measure progress. The Center does not have specific media or size requirements for documentation, but ask that it is made in careful compliance with the research initiative’s goal. Fellows may be asked to present their work verbally or visually, though these forms of publication are open to debate. The development of the fellowship and its products will always be a negotiation between the Center and the Fellow; by ensuring a collaborative agreement with clear licensing obligations, the Fellow’s creative integrity will be protected. The following are the guidelines that all documentation must follow: —— Where possible, closed captioning must be made available. —— Where possible, the documentation should be easily accessible on digital and physical platforms. —— All bodies and references acknowledged in the documentation must be cited consistently. —— Where applicable, all images must have text descriptions compatible with e-readers. —— Where applicable, visual design strategies should be employed to ensure legibility. Documentation need not be shared outside the Fellow’s own practice. However, it is expected to occur, in any (in)visible or (in)tangible way as is important for the fellowship.

Fellowship Annual Timeline REVIEW COMMITTEE

The Fellowship Review Committee for the Local Complexity Fellowship will be different from that of the Faculty Systems Grant review committee. To support the fellowship granting process, the Center has assembled a committee to provide feedback, evaluate proposals, make recommendations, and serve as guest critics. The current members of the Fellowship Review Committee are: —— Director of the Center for Complexity —— Matthew Shenoda, of the Center for Social Equity & Inclusion —— Kent Kleinman, Provost —— An undergraduate student leader that is not in the Student Alliance organization —— A graduate student leader that is not in the Graduate Student Alliance organization —— Teachers of color, as identified by student representatives as allies

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—— At least two of the current student employees of the Center —— Past participants in Fellowship Program The appointment of administrative representatives to the Fellowship Review Committee is informal, and exclusively compensated by the in-kind operations that the Center offers to its Fellows. This is a contracted part of their professional position description, and will be a part of their regular workday load. The appointment of student and faculty representatives to the Fellowship Revision Committee is also informal, but is compensated either through financial compensation or academic support. These student and faculty appointments are meant to be exchanges of labor, resources, and support. COLLABORATOR PARTNERSHIPS

Formal partnerships between the Center and external Collaborators are to reflect other relationships already existing between members of the RISD and greater Providence communities. The collaborators are not only people that the Center works with, but also organizations and individuals with connections to other RISD offices, such as the Center for Reconciliation or Farm Fresh RI. APPLICATION PROCESS

Fellowship applications for students will be published on the Center’s website on the first of January of every year. Applications will not be opened until March, and will close in the beginning of May. The application will gather the following information from the applicant: —— Personal Information (Name, Year, Expected Degree & Graduation) —— Intended/Proposed Project Topic —— Intended/Proposed Project Collaborator —— Intended/Proposed Timeline —— Intended/Proposed Budget —— Intended/Proposed Support Structures (Mentor Expectations, Work Culture Preferences, Mental Health Considerations, Accessibility Considerations__) —— List of Other Commitments — Weekly Meetings, Club Leadership, Work-Study Positions —— Acknowledgement that the Center will Ensure Students are Prepared to Take On Extra Responsibility. In the event that students are not prepared to do so, the Center will fund and support those developments. —— Requests for Material and Additional Compensation (where applicable) Information sessions will be held regularly while the application is online and open for students to gain more insight about the Center and its initiatives. REVIEW PROCESS

The Fellowship Review Committee as defined above is the primary analyzer of all submitted applications. Applications are only reviewed at the end of the aforementioned deadline.

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During review, each member of the Fellowship Review Committee will be randomly assigned an application to evaluate. During either of two full-committee convenings, each member will advocate for the application they evaluated. The Center currently uses this method of review to assert its belief in blind audition processes; in this case, the sheet music will remain the same for all applicants, but the musician will not be revealed. The Center will ensure that all people can read and react to the sheet music equally, or create sheet music that caters to different abilities while still maintaining the same qualities for analysis. People who train these students to read and react to sheet music will not be the same people on the Fellowship Review Committee. The Center also recognizes that a diverse committee does not ensure a diverse fellows cohort, and will actively find ways to make sure both are not only diverse but equitable and inclusive. Review of the applications will take place remotely over the course of the summer, barring two in-person review sessions. During remote review, intended/proposed collaborators will be contacted by members of the Fellowship Review Committee to confirm their capacity to host a student fellow. Organizational collaborators must be able to monitor students’ research efforts and communicate with representatives of the Center. Additionally, there must be clear confirmation of collaboration between the organization and the student fellow, as indicated by an email from the student fellow informing the organization that they will receive funding. This email communication will be detailed during the aforementioned information sessions. Upon confirmation of the collaborator’s involvement, student applicants will be notified of their status in the program in August by the Director of the Center. Collaborator involvement does not guarantee student involvement, and vice versa. Acceptance of the position must be confirmed via e-communication before the beginning of the school year on the first full day of classes. Upon acceptance, the Center will set up two preliminary meetings with the Fellow and their collaborator before classes begin, to build scaffolding for the research endeavors to come. Upon request, the Center will compensate for any accommodations the student will need to attend these meetings. Students who do not receive the Fellowship will receive feedback on their applications regarding why they were not chosen this time around. These applicants will be pointed to other opportunities that would better fit their application, and offered guidance from staff at the Center for Complexity. CLOSURE PROCESS

The exit aspect of the Fellowship is detailed further in a later section within this document. The Center ses that it must be approached as a separate part of the Fellowship, since its existence only occurs at the completion of the program.

Expectations and Commitments DELIVERABLES

Participants in the Fellowship (including fellows, organizational collaborators, and Center mentors) are expected to have their own internal documentation of the program and follow the aforementioned guidelines for any external documentation. EPISTEMOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Fellows are expected to identify and react to the traditions of knowledge and pedagogy (epistemo-

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logical considerations) that they are assuming, relying on, and challenging. They are responsible for critical inquiry about their own reliance on systems of language, division, and intellect. KNOWLEDGE COMMUNICATIONS

Fellows are expected to identify and manifest effective and sustainable methods of communicating their knowledge with all other participants in the Fellowship. They are responsible for critical inquiry about their own reliance on systems of communication, presentation, and information. Fellows and Collaborators are collectively responsible for the following deliverables: —— Quarterly report on project progress to communicate with RISD (any medium). —— Archive of all financial transactions connected to the Fellowship. —— Engage in direct dialogue with regards to local political, activist, or justice-centered conversations happening around the organizational collaborator’s mission and location. —— Implement a critical inquiry framework to analyze systems and complexity with relation to the collaborator’s historical and contemporary practices. —— Produce a self-sustaining initiative that redistributes RISD’s resources to the organization. Fellows and the Center are collectively responsible for the following deliverables: —— Quarterly report on project progress to communicate with organizational collaborator (any medium). —— Establish a close working relationship between Center representatives, Fellows and highlevel RISD administrators to communicate local organizations’ wants and needs. —— Create and sustain an advocacy council that feeds directly into the Fellowship Review Committee’s ethos. —— Work closely with the Intercultural Student Engagement Office and its Cultural Programmers to develop leadership training and events that resonate with local community groups. The Center and Collaborators are collectively responsible for the following deliverables: —— Professional leadership mentorship for the Fellow. —— Creating, maintaining, and fostering a reparations-centric relationship between RISD and the greater Providence community. —— Loop community members on both sides into local events and gatherings. —— Share physical, material, and financial resources when possible and applicable. —— Fellows are expected to contribute 150 hours of engagement during each year of their Fellowship. —— Collaborators can negotiate how many of these hours they are willing and able to host the Fellow for.

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Closure Process REFLECTION PROCESS

The conclusion of the Fellowship will be kickstarted with a presentation of the Fellow’s projects. As a part of the critique of the Fellow’s project, there will be a heavy focus on reflection on the Fellowship’s impact on the participants’ knowledge bases. The Center will facilitate most of the reflection, setting up meetings for the Fellow with all other participants. The Fellow is expected to work with their organizational collaborator to set up reflections on their side. As a part of the reflection process, Fellows will be slowly transitioned out of their position at the Center through meetings with the RISD Career Center. During these meetings, the Fellow will work on their professional documentation of this experience, and work out futures for their work. This will all be counted towards roughly 20 hours of compensated time, included in the 150 hours of engagement. PASSING THE TORCH

An important aspect of this Fellowship is creating a sustainable partnership across younger systems inquirers who pass through RISD. Thus, a key element of moving from each phase of the fellowship, from year to year, is understanding the responsibilities that come with mentorship. As each fellow passes from the first year into their second, they will be heavily involved in the acceptance process for new fellows; they will act as reviewers, advocates, and mentors with regards to how the application itself is formulated. Thus, they will assume a key role in forming the fellowship as it grows, and will pass this torch on to new fellows when their first year passes. CONTINUED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CENTER & FELLOW

All fellows who complete the program will be entered into an online database where resources, job opportunities, and engagement events. The fellow network will continue to expand, including all peripheral participants in Center events.

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Attachment 5 - A Case for Case Studies: How and Why to Design a Case Study Library TABLE OF CONTENTS A Case for Case Studies Case Studies in the Field Use and Application Case Studies in the RISD Center for Complexity Citing Case Studies Writing Case Studies Encased Studies — Case Studies in Practice Case Studies in Pedagogical Settings Case Study Supplements and Collaborators Citing Case Studies Writing Case Studies Case Studies in Intellectual Settings Case Study Supplements and Collaborators Citing Case Studies Writing Case Studies Guidelines to Citing Case Studies Questions to Consider References, Recommendations, and Resources Guidelines to Writing the Brief Itself Questions to Consider References, Recommendations, and Resources Integration with Social Equity and Inclusion

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A Case for Case Studies The Center for Complexity relies on citing, creating, and analyzing precedents of and for successful systems design to produce its critical inquiry. Case studies are a more structured interaction, for all constituents of the center, to engage with topics and design solutions that are currently circulating and in the process of being implemented in the field of systems inquiry. This report provides the content with which to create a summarized guide for the Center for Complexity to develop its ethos for a library of case studies. Case studies outline the intents, processes, and impacts of systems intervention through analysis, narration, and example, often working through varying perspectives to point audiences towards a greater understanding of the systems at play in singular design example. CASE STUDIES IN THE FIELD

Within the canon of strategic design, case studies have played the role of publication, dissemination, and critique. A case study is a formal, often written, report that details the pre-production, ideation, delivery, and impact of a systems design intervention. Case studies can narrate a variety of projects, ranging from those that are speculative and global, to those that are financial and highly local. This form of documentation allows for audiences to understand the thinking behind and the creation of systems intervention, and allows for clear analysis of the effect of those interventions. Different case studies will focus on different aspects of a project, sometimes trying to be comprehensive but often seeking to highlight a particular aspect of the project under review. USE AND APPLICATION

Case studies are most notably used in the following settings of pedagogical, financial, and intellectual. In pedagogical settings, case studies advocate for systems design principles and examines how those principles permeate and affect real life decisions, such as material changes or political connections. In financial settings, case studies highlight the benefits of strategic design interventions and establish their worth in sponsorship and fellowship opportunities, such as when submitting yearly reviews or applying for grants. In intellectual settings, case studies are most commonly used to communicate different design agencies’ work with one another. Case studies in this case do not need to explicitly address design principles or highlight the benefits of strategy in design, and instead focus on differences in process and output to address innovation. Some roles that a case study might be asked to play are… —— Present a project seen as laudable as an example of a successful approach. —— Present a troubled project to use as an object lesson in the pitfalls of the work. —— Develop a canon of ‘strategic design’. Induct projects into the field whether or not their creators saw themselves as being in the field. —— Examine outcomes of strategic and systems design intervention or inquiry. —— Examine process of strategic and systems design intervention or inquiry. —— Act as a sales tool for services provided by strategic design firms.

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—— Establish the bonafides of the case study author as a strategic designer, —— Establish the bonafides of the case’s actors as strategic designers. —— Act as inspiration for future projects. —— Be a teaching tool. —— Critique a project’s success or failure. Join a global debate about strategic design.

Case Studies in the Center for Complexity The Center for Complexity is especially fond of case studies that actively engage with: the designers’ identities, backgrounds, and privileges with relation to their work and its larger context in strategic and systems design; the financial and physical systems that create the original issue; those who are directly impacted by the systems design are thoroughly cited and consulted; and there is a level of clear and concise criticality. Case studies are most helpful to the Center when they are addressing discrepancy in power structures at all systemic hierarchies (covering the designers’, constituents’, governments’, sponsors’, and structures’ privileges and powers) impact the quality of design inquiry and intervention. That being said and understood, there are still two different relationships to case studies — those it cites, and those it writes. CITING CASE STUDIES

The Center cites case studies most often in its pedagogical settings: its Strategic Design Program initiative; its RISD student involvement initiatives; and its interdisciplinary public programming initiatives. Thus, the primary goal of citing case studies is to thoroughly introduce and explain examples of strategic and systems design. For pedagogical contexts, case studies are seen as summaries, as Wiki-entries almost, that detail the full life of the design process of inquiry and intervention; it is rare that the case study, when cited, is examined as an artifact itself. Its content is the primary target of examination in pedagogical settings. WRITING CASE STUDIES

The Center writes case studies most often for its financial and intellectual settings: its sponsorship and contractual initiatives; its expert-specific convening and conference initiatives; and its outward-facing communication initiatives. Case studies are a primary way in which the Center connects with a larger community of practitioners working in the fields of strategic and systems design. Here, the goal of writing case studies is to identify and analyze strategic systems design with a clear Center-centric lens of criticality. For financial contexts, case studies are seen as summaries of the Center’s work and explanations of the use of various institutional funds and resources to advocate for further support. Here, its form is not discussed or examined explicitly, but it directly affects how its content is received. For intellectual contexts, case studies are seen as summaries of the Center’s views and explanations of what lenses and frameworks it brings to current dialogues in systems inquiry circles. Its form and content are equally discussed in this environment.

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Encased Studies — Case Studies in Practice This section takes each of the Center’s interactions with case studies, when citing and writing, and analyzes their intent and impact in greater detail. By unpacking the exact ingredients of each interaction, one should be able to construct and reference their own set of case studies. This section looks at two specific contexts for case studies, and re-examines their conceptualization and distribution. CASE STUDIES IN STRATEGIC DESIGN PROGRAM

Case studies in the Strategic Design Program are utilized to show students what systems design and inquiry looks like (examples, inspiration, precedents, implementation) in real world contexts. These case studies show how strategic design exists as a practice, mindset, and process in the context of a systemic challenge (like housing, healthcare). Case studies in the SDP have been most useful when packaged neatly in a mini booklet overview, summary, and/or analysis format. These are then used to create lecture presentations/discussions to walk students through how to “read” a case study and identify “strategic design”, and as activities for students to do with minimal guidance from faculty. Most often, the case studies work with formal presentation and summary to convey the information about their design projects to the audiences. Case studies are augmentary aspects of briefs, critiques, workshops, and seminars; case studies frame the ways in which students interact with precedents of systems intervention. At the Center, case studies are cited only when they work thoroughly across and through scales, ranging from intimate, local experiences to systemic, global occurrences. Thus, there are two critical aspects to using case studies as pedagogical tools — they must be carefully chosen, and they must be deliberately delivered. These are the same ways in which the Center approaches writing case studies, which, often times, will also be cited in teaching. Through this, facilitators can ground systems design in students’ practices with a framing that is reparatively just, inclusive and equitable — and do the same within their own creative practices at the Center. CASE STUDY SUPPLEMENTS AND COLLABORATORS

With the use of case studies (cited and written) in the Strategic Design Program, the primary supplements and collaborators are: its presentation and presenter; one-sheet or reference material; and contextualizing inquiry topic. The presentation will inform the students as to what the case study is, and what it talks about; the presenter, in this case, will act as a representative for the case study, answering any further questions students may have. The one-sheet or reference material (often times the case study itself ) are distributed after the presentation, alongside the assignment. The reference material exists only as an additional resource, and will provide all information without necessarily separating the essentials. The context of the case study in the classroom will always be determined by the topic during which it is shared — a case study that looks at stroke interventions will have two different framings when presented in an inquiry period on research epistemologies versus on healthcare transportation. All of these roles that a single case study fills are essential to the Strategic Design Program and its core values — thus, it is important that case studies work critically with their aforementioned supplements and collaborators to inform students about strategic design and systems inquiry practices and precedents.

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However, the use of case studies in strategic design and systems inquiry pedagogy is not necessarily specific to the Center; the only element of customization comes with the choice of case study and the delivery of its analysis in the studio. The following are questions to consider when developing case studies to be incorporated into the Strategic Design Program: —— What voices does the case study in hand examine? What voices does the design strategy discussed in the document examine? —— Who was involved with the design, and how did they receive that ability or opportunity? What about with the case study? —— What scales do the interventions address in the design? In the case study? —— How does the case study elevate the work of the design strategy? —— What are the differences in presentation between the designers of the strategy and the writers of the case study?

CITING CASE STUDIES IN TEACHING

The Center uses two types of case studies in the Strategic Design Program—ones written by the Center and ones curated. This section outlines the potential relationship between case studies that are not written by the Center, yet have at least a single element deeply aligned with the Center’s pedagogical goals. The Center is particularly interested in case studies that are easily legible as strategic design in its pedagogical initiatives. When choosing any case study to cite in the Strategic Design Program context, the most important question to consider is the context in which it will be presented. How does the content of the case study resonate with other teachings that will be entering students’ minds at that time? Looking back at the case study on stroke interventions, it is easy to see how it could be applicable to inquiry on healthcare and transportation; but could it bring something new to inquiry on food systems, evidence, or trust? If such a framing is possible, how can one present that case study aptly? The Center chooses case studies that do at least one thing that is worth teaching to other people. They should speak to at least one element of a strategic design practice that the Center thinks is worth learning from or emulating. The aim of diversifying cited case studies in this context is to: —— Show students the nature of systems work, that things in allegedly singular spheres can trickle into other allegedly singular spheres —— Highlight forms of resistance and intervention that are actively trying to undo the hierarchies that systems rely on —— Broaden the canon of “systems” inquiry and design Thus, when choosing case studies to cite, it is recommended to find ones that are: —— Written by queer, trans*/womxn of color from non-design education and varying socioeconomic backgrounds —— Actively citing decolonization as their core value, by working against governments, systems, and administration —— Use colloquially-understandable language to discuss their findings, rather than

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design-specific jargon —— Making strides to denounce white supremacy, by: having equitable and ethical internal practices; funding non-white organizations through funds meant for white organizations; engaging their community members in decision making; etc. —— Advocates for critique, even (and especially) when targeted towards systems design as a field Once you’ve chosen a case study in accordance with context, identify its role in presentation. The Center prefers presentations that first formally analyze the case study for its content, design, and delivery; before critically analyzing what the case study (and the presented topic) succeed or fail at doing. Returning again to the case study on stroke intervention, one possible presentation could identify the writers, structure, and content of the case study before dissecting the influence of the writers, structure, and content on the audience’s reception. Formal analyses, thus, are expected to, at least, contend with identifying the following ingredients: —— The Brief What were the initial prompt, framing of the problem, and/or challenges that the project was asked to address? —— Research & Observation What preliminary analysis and investigation did the design strategy involve? —— Secondary Research: Historical Context What analysis and investigation looked at historical contexts? —— Secondary Research: Outside Studies What analysis and investigation examined other people’s contribution to the topic? —— Tertiary Research: Stakeholder Analysis What analysis and investigation looked at the stakeholders in the system the strategy was aimed at? —— Tertiary Research: User Surveying & Workshops What analysis and investigation examined the relationship of the design strategy to the user? —— Team Who were the people involved in implementing the design strategy, and how did they come to work with one another, specifically on this project? —— Background What are aspects of their backgrounds that drew them to this project? —— Future How does the team exist past the project? —— Project Timeline How did the project evolve across its lifetime, and how were time and effort distributed across this? —— Challenges, Problems, Opportunities What challenges, problems, and opportunities did the design strategy face? Which were identified by the team or surfaced because of research, observations, testing, etc.? How did that inform, change, or direct the inquiry or project? —— Socio-Cultural Misappropriation

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Which of those challenges, problems, and opportunities has to do with cultural misappropriation and hierarchy? —— Policy and Economics Which of those challenges, problems, and opportunities had to do with policy and economics? —— Architecture and Construction Which of those challenges, problems, and opportunities had to do with architecture and construction? —— Synthesis & Insight How did the team synthesize and glean insights? What feedback did this offer? —— Process-Based Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s creation process? —— Results-Based Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s implementation and reception? —— Reframing the Brief How did the creation of the design strategy reframe the original prompt or systems inquiry? —— Setting Parameters What parameters did the team set before and after reframing the brief? How did the aforementioned process change the scope of their project? —— Guiding Principles What morals, ethics, and values did the team and design strategy rely on? Which ones did they call for from others? Which ones did they create through their working process? —— Interventions & Proposals What were the final interventions and proposals? Explain, in detail, their financial, physical, and material logistics. —— Outcomes & Legacies How does the project exist past its original conception, say one year into its use, five years into its use...? Once a clear picture of the case study has been laid out, the instructor’s feedback and critical analysis is more likely to be understood and well-received by the students. Here, it is important to ask the following questions regarding the aforementioned ingredients: —— The Brief Does the provided summary aptly describe the problem the design team thought they faced? —— Research & Observation What aspects of research and observation needed more discrepancy or depth? Why were they ignored? Did they any take steps to repair those ignorances? Can we take any steps to do so? —— Secondary Research: Historical Context What historical contexts are traditionally hard to research, and how did they approach this problem? —— Secondary Research: Outside Studies

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How did they relate to the work of other people with different systemic recognition? —— Tertiary Research: Stakeholder Analysis What stakeholders did this case study uniquely examine? —— Tertiary Research: User Surveying & Workshops How were users engaged in the development of the design strategy, and how was their agency augmented? —— Team Which people were not on the team, and why? —— Background What are aspects of their backgrounds that kept them to this project? —— Future How does the team address this past the project? —— Project Timeline What kept the project from speeding up or slowing down? How does the case study highlight this, in ways that the design strategy doesn’t? —— Challenges, Problems, Opportunities What privileges and successes were the design team operating with? —— Socio-Cultural Misappropriation How did those deal with cultural hierarchy? —— Policy and Economics How did those deal with policy and economy? —— Architecture and Construction How did those deal with architecture and construction? —— Synthesis & Insight What insight did the case study not explicitly state, because it was obvious or “given”? —— Process-Based Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s creation process? —— Results-Based Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s implementation and reception? —— Reframing the Brief How did the creation of the design strategy reframe the original prompt or systems inquiry? What frameworks were added, removed, or augmented? —— Setting Parameters What kept these parameters from being set from the beginning? —— Guiding Principles What morals, ethics, and values did the team and design strategy rely on? Which ones did they call for from others? Which ones did they create through their working process? —— Interventions & Proposals How was their final intervention and/or proposal realized, and what were its actual impacts on the users and constituents who interact with the strategy daily? —— Outcomes & Legacies How does the project exist past its original conception, say one year into its use, five years

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into its use...? Where does it need improvement? As the instructor or presenter develops their methodology for sharing their chosen case study, they are expected to answer these questions with careful discretion. Note when it is important to pull the curtain back, and how a student can be enabled to do so, rather than being told what happens when such is done. After forming the content of the presentation, the Center asks that its format is easily accessible across multiple platforms. When delivering a lecture presentation, the Center asks that the instructor considers image-heavy, text-light slideshow accompanists. For printed or digital presentations, the Center asks that the instructor consults the accessibility design guide to ensure that people can look at the presentation in many ways. Often times, when creating these presentations, it is helpful to consider what is worth prioritizing if the case study had to be limited to a single page. Given that students rarely have extra time to fully examine case studies themselves, it is the instructor’s job to summarize the documents thoroughly and critically. WRITING CASE STUDIES

Case studies that are written by the Center are never done so to be specifically and exclusively used in the Strategic Design Program. Any case studies by the Center that are cited in the Strategic Design Program will be one written for other purposes (such as networking, funding, public programming) and reworked to fit the syllabus at hand while introducing a more in-depth viewpoint to the case studies’ creation. Unlike case studies for teaching, case studies in these contexts, look for the alternative, the hidden, and the Non-Canonical. Thus, when presenting Center-written case studies in the aforementioned scenarios, it is important to take into account the following: —— Acknowledge the bias that the Center has, given its institutional and financial ties. Whose interests must the Center align with, and why? How does this affect their case study? —— How did the Center learn about the design strategy it is examining in the case study? —— What are its tricks to identifying and defining the aforementioned ingredients in design strategies it studies? —— What was the process of writing the case study like? How long did it take to produce the case study? How has it been distributed since? As always, these case studies should take into account accessibility with regards to the document’s graphic design. CASE STUDIES FOR SYSTEMS DESIGNERS AND COMMUNITIES

Case studies that are aimed towards systems designers and communities are presented, for the most part, on the Center website, in conferences and convenings, and shared physical copies with collaborators. These case studies are carefully chosen and designed to get the Center’s ethos and criticality out to the public and establish its viewpoint. It is also an important way, for an organization with recognizable institutional and financial support, to throw its weight behind other creatives who are working at the intersections of systems, strategy, and inquiry. The Center still wishes to only use case studies that work thoroughly across and through scales, ranging from intimate, local experiences to systemic, global occurrences — and whether chosen as a resource or written to be one, the Center must recognize case studies that are critical in their subject matter and reparative efforts.

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In this section, there are suggested guidelines for how to choose which case studies will represent the Center’s viewpoint and document its thinking for its most important collaborators, stakeholders, and role models. CASE STUDY SUPPLEMENTS AND COLLABORATORS

Case studies that are intended for systems designers and communities will most commonly live on the Center’s website. They will be presented in digitized PDF form, available for downloading and sharing. This enables a certain level of interaction to be built into the PDF, so it becomes easy to hyperlink other online references and resources. This will keep the original case study, whether written or cited by the Center, to be studied in the contexts of its own research. Similarly, it becomes easier to create forums and update the case studies regularly, to maintain the case studies’ relevancy and the Center’s criticality. CITING CASE STUDIES

In this environment, cited case studies will act as testimonies for the Center’s support of both the case study itself, and for the writers of the case study. Thus, it is important to understand who we think is worth listening to, versus who we say is worth listening to, and how we came to that position. While picking case studies to place on the website or refer other systems designers to, consider the following questions: —— Are there any case studies that could shed light on a critical inquiry group that has historically been marginalized by any academic or professional system? —— What new frameworks can other systems designers be introduced to, that do not come from the voices of white male designers? —— Do they consider and/or deal with systems in new and meaningful ways, that align with movements for decolonization and reparations? —— Are these case studies acting to counteract the biases of history? —— Do they share common values with other critical activists and theorists, as well as with those who are most impacted by systems design? —— Are local players given equal weight across the case study? Is there an in-depth explanation of impact past the local scale? —— Do they make an attempt to equalize various forms of labor, specifically emotional, cultural, and physical? —— Is the case study accessible in language, topic, and interaction? —— Does it aptly represent scales, industries, professions, languages, access, and topics? —— Has the case study been helpful in other organizations’ efforts to decolonize and prepare reparations? —— Does the case study detail and interrogate the privileges that allow it and its creators to do the work they do? —— Are the writers critical of themselves and their writing in the case study? Are they explicit in their language and stance when doing so? Do they provide detail wherever possible? —— Do the writers allow for the audience members to interpret or assume any of their phras-

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ing? —— Does the case study acknowledge the other influencers of systems, and proceed with caution regarding the actual efficiency of a design team? —— Do the writers frame their word choice critically, with specific and contemporary references? Are these references to other queer, trans*/womxn of color? —— Does the case study prioritize the voices of marginalized people over the voices of the designers, systems influencers, and even writers? If a case study is able to navigate the questions above, it will be able to reflect the Center’s commitment to criticality in the creation and fostering of justice, especially with regards to epistemologies in the design canon. To do so fully, the presentation of these case studies must be done with careful consideration of its accessibility, whether online or in person. The Center thus has a physical copy of each of the case studies it cites, for all visitors to peruse, in addition to its online resource collection. WRITING CASE STUDIES

For Center-written case studies, the document is not just a resource but also a material that helps with the Center’s public relations and image. In this case, it is important for the case studies to establish a reason as to why it is important to listen to the Center when it comes to systems design. How, then, does the Center set itself apart from the other systems inquirers? The following are a recommended set of questions to consider when writing case studies on behalf of the Center: —— What forms of design interventions are currently being examined by case studies? How can the Center challenge that canon and push it to be more equitable? —— What voices can the Center prioritize, and show as worth prioritizing, to others who write case studies? —— How can the Center verbally acknowledge its biases and fallibilities, to contextualize its existence and writing? —— How can the Center use accessibility as a core tenet of its case study research and writing processes? —— What language will indicate to the Center’s target audiences that they are welcome readers, as well as welcome critics? Again, the graphic design of all Center-written case studies must be in alignment with the aforementioned guides for accessibility.

Guidelines to Citing Case Studies When citing case studies on behalf of the Center, use this section to ensure that the references match the Center’s level of criticality. It summarizes all of the questions above to be detached for a transportable one-sheet. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

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—— What is a one- to two-line summary of the design strategy’s intent? —— What preliminary analysis and investigation did the design strategy involve? —— What analysis and investigation looked at historical contexts? —— What analysis and investigation examined other people’s contribution to the topic? —— What analysis and investigation looked at the stakeholders in the system the strategy was aimed at? —— What analysis and investigation examined the relationship of the design strategy to the user? —— Who were the people involved in implementing the design strategy, and how did they come to work with one another, specifically on this project? —— What are aspects of their backgrounds that drew them to this project? —— How does the team exist past the project? —— How did the project evolve across its lifetime, and how were time and effort distributed across this? —— What challenges, problems, and opportunities did the design strategy face? How were they addressed? —— Which of those challenges, problems, and opportunities had to do with cultural misappropriation and hierarchy? —— Which of those challenges, problems, and opportunities had to do with policy and economics? —— Which of those challenges, problems, and opportunities had to do with architecture and construction? —— How did the design strategy reach its final position, and what feedback did it offer to its users, designers, and other stakeholders? —— Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s creation process? —— Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s implementation and reception? —— How did the creation of the design strategy reframe the original prompt or systems inquiry? —— What parameters did the team set before and after reframing the brief? How did the aforementioned process change the scope of their project? —— What morals, ethics, and values did the team and design strategy rely on? Which ones did they call for from others? Which ones did they create through their working process? —— What were the final interventions and proposals? Explain, in detail, their financial, physical, and material logistics. —— How does the project exist past its original conception, say one year into its use, five years into its use...? —— Does the provided summary aptly describe the problem the design team thought they faced? —— What aspects of research and observation needed more discrepancy or depth? Why were they ignored? Did they any take steps to repair those ignorances? Can we take any steps to

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do so? —— What historical contexts are traditionally hard to research, and how did they approach this problem? —— How did they relate to the work of other people with different systemic recognition? —— What stakeholders did this case study uniquely examine? —— How were users engaged in the development of the design strategy, and how was their agency augmented? —— Which people were not on the team, and why? —— What are aspects of their backgrounds that kept them to this project? —— How does the team address this past the project? —— What kept the project from speeding up or slowing down? How does the case study highlight this, in ways that the design strategy doesn’t? —— What privileges and successes were the design team operating with? —— How did those deal with cultural hierarchy? —— How did those deal with policy and economy? —— How did those deal with architecture and construction? —— What insight did the case study not explicitly state, because it was obvious or “given”? —— Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s creation process? —— Of this feedback, which originated in the design strategy’s implementation and reception? —— How did the creation of the design strategy reframe the original prompt or systems inquiry? What frameworks were added, removed, or augmented? —— What kept these parameters from being set from the beginning? —— What morals, ethics, and values did the team and design strategy rely on? Which ones did they call for from others? Which ones did they create through their working process? —— How was their final intervention and/or proposal realized, and what were its actual impacts on the users and constituents who interact with the strategy daily? —— How does the project exist past its original conception, say one year into its use, five years into its use...? Where does it need improvement?Are there any case studies that could shed light on a critical inquiry group that has historically been marginalized by any academic or professional system? —— What new frameworks can other systems designers be introduced to, that do not come from the voices of white male designers? —— Do they consider and/or deal with systems in new and meaningful ways, that align with movements for decolonization and reparations? —— Are these case studies acting to counteract the biases of history? —— Do they share common values with other critical activists and theorists, as well as with those who are most impacted by systems design? —— Are local players given equal weight across the case study? Is there an in-depth explanation of impact past the local scale?

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—— Do they make an attempt to equalize various forms of labor, specifically emotional, cultural, and physical? —— Is the case study accessible in language, topic, and interaction? —— Does it aptly represent scales, industries, professions, languages, access, and topics? —— Has the case study been helpful in other organizations’ efforts to decolonize and prepare reparations? —— Does the case study detail and interrogate the privileges that allow it and its creators to do the work they do? —— Are the writers critical of themselves and their writing in the case study? Are they explicit in their language and stance when doing so? Do they provide detail wherever possible? —— Do the writers allow for the audience members to interpret or assume any of their phrasing? —— Does the case study acknowledge the other influencers of systems, and proceed with caution regarding the actual efficiency of a design team? —— Do the writers frame their word choice critically, with specific and contemporary references? Are these references to other queer, trans*/womxn of color? —— Does the case study prioritize the voices of marginalized people over the voices of the designers, systems influencers, and even writers?

REFERENCES, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND RESOURCES

The following is an ongoing list of references, recommendations, and resources that provide insight on critical ways to cite others’ work: Reading Zimbabwe “How do you read a country?” This website looks at how information can be presented to shape the understanding of a country — specifically accounting for colonial biases and narratives when observing and discussing history.

Guidelines to Writing Case Studies When writing case studies on behalf of the Center, use this section to ensure that the documents being created match the Center’s level of criticality. It summarizes all of the questions above to be detached for a transportable one-sheet. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

—— Acknowledge the bias that the Center has, given its institutional and financial ties. Whose interests must the Center align with, and why? How does this affect their case study? —— How did the Center learn about the design strategy it is examining in the case study? —— What are its tricks to identifying and defining the aforementioned ingredients in design strategies it studies? —— What was the process of writing the case study like? How long did it take to produce the

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case study? How has it been distributed since? —— What forms of design interventions are currently being examined by case studies? How can the Center challenge that canon and push it to be more equitable? —— What voices can the Center prioritize, and show as worth prioritizing, to others who write case studies? —— How can the Center verbally acknowledge its biases and fallibilities, to contextualize its existence and writing? —— How can the Center use accessibility as a core tenet of its case study research and writing processes? —— What language will indicate to the Center’s target audiences that they are welcome readers, as well as welcome critics?

REFERENCES, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND RESOURCES

The following is an ongoing list of references, recommendations, and resources that provide insight on critical ways to write the Center’s own case studies: —— Equity-Centered Community Design Field Guide A field guide to equity-centered community design - How do they lay out their reasoning, company identity, and resources while looking at the systems of thinking that are associated with design? —— Creative Reaction Lab This presents an interesting approach to presenting cases, because it is a way of showing the importance of doing the work that CRL does.

Integration with Social Equity and Inclusion As an asset of the report “On Reparative Justice and Expanding on Social Equity & Inclusion” from 2019, this document is an important aspect of how values of social equity and justice are incorporated into the daily duties of the Center for Complexity. The Center believes that humanity faces a crisis in how society structures knowledge. It is a platform for transdisciplinary collaboration and innovation informed by global events and creative practices. RISD is a community committed to social equity and inclusion. It values diversity as a strength, and share core principles of access, agency, and mutual respect, both on campus and through individual interactions around the world. [As an institution that welcomes] individuals of all faiths, ethnicities, and nationalities, it expects that anyone participating in RISD programs respects and supports our position and values, even if they do not share them. RISD’s Strategic Design Program is designed to initiate and steward challenging conversations between people who think divergently and have varied personal and professional backgrounds. Diversity of thought and openness to new ideas are the key factors behind the SDP’s continued relevance and impact. Considering these mission statements, revise and review the case study in hand to ensure that it prioritizes social justice, equity, inclusion, and access.

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When reviewing a chosen case study, reconsider the following questions from above: —— What systems, scales, and symbols of social complexity does the case study consider? —— What cultural, historical, and regional examples does it cite, and why? —— Does the case study contend critically with its accessibility? To the general community? To the students? To people of different sociopolitical and socioeconomic abilities? To people of different physical and mental abilities? —— What levels of industrial, professional, social or other recognition does the case study validate or challenge Consider ideas of expertise, and how institutions can negatively and positively shape the reception of an individual’s prowess. —— What languages is the case study presented in, and why? How does it rely on and work with communication in this brief? —— Is the case study guiding conversation, learning, and thinking in the field of systems inquiry? —— At what level does the case study consider social, economic, and political ability? Of the students? Of the instructors? Of the sponsors? Of its presenter, audience...? —— How does the case study actively create dialogue concerning social justice, equity, and inclusion? —— How does the case study acknowledge and account for its role in Euro-American hegemonic design? —— How does the case study actively contend with its relation to systems of complexity, including but not limited to: cultural imperialism, classism, racism, and colonialism? —— How does the case study acknowledge the presence of the Center in this document? How does it acknowledge the presence of other influencers (and recipients) in this document? As stated above, it is imperative that all case studies and further supplements of the Center condone and actively act against colonial and cultural imperialism, specifically as it exists within arts and design systems pedagogy.

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Written by S Suryanarayanan, 2019. Designed by Maddie Woods, 2019. For use at the Center for Complexity at RISD.

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Profile for Sruti Suryanarayanan

On Reparative Justice and Expanding on Social Equity & Inclusion: A Report  

Throughout an eight-month fellowship, the author of this report, SS, analyzed the RISD Center for Complexity and its current relationship to...

On Reparative Justice and Expanding on Social Equity & Inclusion: A Report  

Throughout an eight-month fellowship, the author of this report, SS, analyzed the RISD Center for Complexity and its current relationship to...

Profile for ssuryana
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