Tuesday 12pm, 11 April 2017

Clifford pic2015

Building Equity-conscious Designers

David Clifford

Founder - DSX


There exists a tension in the worlds of design and equity: Design can often fail to address root causes of inequity and can reproduce inequitable power relationships, and Equity work often lacks an intentional & powerful approach to design & creativity. How can design thinking and designers powerfully serve as a force for equity + address the effects of oppression found in the design of objects to systems like education? David Clifford, Senior Learning Experience Designer at the Stanford K12 Lab and founder of design school X, will share insights and tools created with the National Equity Project in collaboration with educators throughout the U.S.


David Clifford builds irresistible learning environments of belonging and becoming. David has been a designer, builder and equity/social justice-oriented educator for nearly 20 years. Much of this time has been spent designing curriculum and culture that utilize tensions (academia and the arts, power and oppression, white supremacy and multiculturalism) for creative opportunities to inspire humanity and agents of change. As a heterosexual, upper-middle class, able-bodied White man, David is the beneficiary of the generations of oppression of people in U.S. He uses his legacy privilege to challenge the very systems and structures of oppression that placed him in his unearned place of power. This self-awareness, coupled with his design/builder mindset and skill-set give David a fortuitous opportunity to rattle status quo cages found within the White worlds of education and the design/design thinking/maker communities.
David co-founded the East Bay School for Boys as a feminist act to empower middle school boys to be thoughtful, courageous and engaged men of tomorrow. Before that, during his 13 years at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco leading the Technical Arts department and is currently a senior learning experience designer in the Stanford’s K12 Lab. He is building DSX, a new scalable high school model aiming to inspire humanity for the rigors of the real world by building in students (and teachers) the agency to affect change, agility to seek out and navigate complex dilemmas and access to one's true purpose and character.