Abstract

Our society faces complex social justice challenges, often exacerbated by existing engineered products and technologies. Engineering designers play a critical role in creating and studying products and technologies that can both aim to solve and unintentionally contribute to social injustice. There is a growing priority in the engineering design research community to incorporate justice into design work and to do so meaningfully and intentionally. Therefore, there is a need to more deeply understand how scholars have integrated concepts of justice into their design work and to bring to light areas of future research. In this paper, we conduct a scoping review of design and justice in eleven scholarly venues relevant to the engineering design community. A scoping review allowed for a broad range of topics to be covered to identify major research themes and gaps, and to explore boundaries of the nascent study of design and justice. After searching the relevant venues, we conducted a thematic analysis to capture the major themes in the dataset of papers relating to justice and design. We found that scholars connected justice to their design work in ways that can be categorized into three main areas of design: Designers, Design Outcomes, and Design Process. Our analysis highlighted areas of future research in studying justice as relevant to Designers, Outcomes, and Processes, as well as identifying an overall call to redefine design as a whole in the pursuit of justice.

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