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[ARTICLE] The Political Ergonomics of Design Thinking for Disaster

Political theorist Langdon Winner (1987) brings forward the notion of "political ergonomics": for designs to work, they must "fit" the systems in which they are intended to be embedded. This is the premise of my journal article co-authored with Curiosity colleagues Birdie Salva and Pia Maranan and written for AGHAMTAO, the official journal of the Anthropological Association of the Philippines. We analysed a design thinking (Wyatt and Brown, 2010) project in humanitarian shelter project that we participated in through our partnership with women's rights and education NGO WeDpro, which was funded by rights-based humanitarian organisation ActionAid. The article emphasises the value of systems and critical thinking in approaching design projects for marginalised sectors, rather than immediately embracing solutionism focused on product and service development.

Check out the other articles in the volume:

Here is our abstract:

A pdf copy of the article has been made available for download at the Philippine Social Science Council website:


Winner, L. (1987). Political Ergonomics: Technological Design and the Quality of Public Life. IIUG.

Brown, T., & Wyatt, J. (n.d.). Design Thinking for Social Innovation. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2019, from

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