Siobhan Gregory on Change

March 18, 8:30am - 10:00am EDT. Hosted at Wayne State University - Hilberry Theater

part of a series on Change


About the speaker

Siobhan Gregory is an industrial designer and applied anthropologist. Her research and practice focus is on the progress of human-centered design. In the private sector, she used anthropological theory and methods to help organizations form deep and meaningful connections with their customers and stakeholders through culturally informed product development, service innovations and brand direction. She also holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the areas of design and design research at Wayne State University. Lastly, she is currently working with grassroots community leaders in East Detroit to design equitable and relevant public spaces and programming.

From Siobhan Gregory: “As the designers and urban planners work to position their practices as central to social change, they bring with them efficiency in process, technical expertise, sophisticated aesthetic skills, and tightly scripted narratives. These factors often result in a design process that can seem more anti-social than social. Additionally, development strategies to attract “creatives” can result in unforeseen inequalities in contexts where equitable social change could otherwise be fostered. This talk will address how these issues are playing out in the City of Detroit today, while suggesting some approaches towards greater social-ness in design.”

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Additional details

As the designers and urban planners work to position their practices as central to social change, they bring with them efficiency in process, technical expertise, sophisticated aesthetic skills, and tightly scripted narratives. These factors often result in a design process that can seem more anti-social than social. Additionally, development strategies to attract “creatives” can result in unforeseen inequalities in contexts where equitable social change could otherwise be fostered. This talk will address how these issues are playing out in the City of Detroit today, while suggesting some approaches towards greater social-ness in design.