Intro to UX Design Workshop: On Bartering & Mutual Aid Strategies


How might design thinking help foster tools for collaboration and collective care? In this series of introductory workshops to UX Design, participants are encouraged to create systems and applications centered around anti-capitalist models of bartering and mutual aid.

Workshop Logistics

Monday, June 29
Wednesday, July 1
Monday, July 6
Wednesday, July 8

Time: 4 – 6:30pm PST

Cost: $240 Suggested Donation. Your donation helps offset the costs of this 4-day event.

Experience Level: The class welcomes participants of all backgrounds. Familiarity with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, or web or smartphone app technology is helpful.

• Computer with wi-fi connection
• Free Figma account

Limited seats for enrollment.
6 scholarship seats reserved for Black & Indigenous Creatives.

Workshop Outline

We'll cover a range of topics including:
• An intro to the user experience design process: from research, to interface design, to a testable prototype.
• Exploration of human psychology and behavioral patterns, an understanding of the latest functionalities of iOS technology, development of UI design and patterning libraries, and general user experience design best practices.
• Recurring discussion around themes of anti-capitalistic systems of exchange including currency-less economic systems, mutual aid, and bartering.
• A critical look at what goes into creating the addictiveness of smartphone apps and platforms, and the ethical and moral obligations designers have towards the structures around us.

Online Workshop

This online workshop will be held over four days with 2.5 hour sessions via video webinar. We will have an online community chat to share your questions during and beyond the workshop. The workshop will be recorded, archived and shared with participants for a limited time. Please contact us if you have any additional questions at [email protected]

Full Scholarship for Black & Indigenous Creatives

To help Black & Indigenous creators of all backgrounds reach their goals, we are proud to offer a full diversity scholarship to sustain and advance an inclusive community at Gray Area and beyond. This scholarship is for outstanding students from diverse backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education and the fields of art, design, and technology. Recipients will receive a full paid scholarship for the workshop.

Apply for this scholarship by Thursday, June 25.


Fei Liu

Fei Liu 刘斐 is a New York-based Chinese designer, artist, and educator. Her art and research explores embodiment and telepresence, robotics, performance, civic engagement, and systems of care. She is a product designer at independent news organization, The Intercept, and an adjunct professor at Parsons MFA Design and Technology. Previous residencies include Pioneer Works, New Museum, NEW INC, and Akademie Schloss Solitude. She has mid-to-average combined student debt from an undergraduate as well as a master’s degree, with no car or house.

Joelle Fleurantin

Senior User Experience Researcher, JP Morgan Chase. Joelle Fleurantin has been working as a user experience researcher in the financial services industry for the past five years. She has a Master's from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and previously studied art history and television at Yale and Brooklyn College, CUNY. She has a twenty-plus years obsession with how virtual environments augment our identities, bodies, and definitions of intimacy.

James Vanié

Senior Product Designer, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. James Vanié is a design strategist who builds inclusive products, services, and systems.

Mala Kumar

Product Designer, Giant Machines. Mala Kumar is a NYC-based interaction designer and artist interested in the wayward desires of systems. She received her MFA from Parsons at the New School in Design and Technology and works at Giant Machines, where she uses her expertise in emerging technology and research-driven methodologies to design new interfaces for products and platforms. She is a current artist-in-residence at Pratt's STEAMplant Initiative where she is working on a participatory project that envisions a more inclusive and just city for the next generation, and an incoming new media resident at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Eve Masso

Software Engineer, Github Desktop. Evelyn Masso is a person (all the time), a developer+designer (on weekdays), and a poet (on weekends). She’s designed user interfaces for Linksys and taught classes at UCLA Extension on design and technology. She currently works on GitHub Desktop as a software engineer and contributes to p5.js. You can see her website here and her innermost public thoughts here.

Steven Ziadie

Steven is a freelance designer and art director living in Los Angeles. He finds solace in conveying his thoughts through images, sounds, stories and codes.

Sandra Atakora

Director of UX, Perch. Sandra Atakora is an interaction designer based in Brooklyn, New York. In 2017, Sandra joined Perch, one of the leaders in interactive retail design, where she currently serves as UX Director creating mixed reality experiences for clients such as Macy's, Barnes & Noble, and Johnson&Johnson. Sandra's experience includes designing and building AR applications, both personally in an exploratory practice and professionally as an independent consultant. In 2019, she produced and directed 'PLAY', an experimental aerial production hosted at Soft Surplus. Sandra has studied design at the Royal College of Art, Imperial College London, and Keio University. She holds a Masters of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a BSc in Industrial Design Engineering from Aalborg University, Denmark.

Nick Simmons

Product Designer, Topic. Volunteer, Sunrise Movement.

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