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Dissent by Design is a collaborative study of ways designers engage contentious social and political issues.

We ground our work in sociological and architectural studies of social problems and social movements.

Initiated at the University of Colorado Boulder's Program in Environmental Design in 2018, we explore these topics through design, scholarship, and fieldwork.

Follow our projects, thoughts, and fieldwork on Twitter and IG @dissentxdesign

who we are.

who we are.

We're a team of researchers and designers at the University of Colorado Boulder's Program in Environmental Design. Our backgrounds span Architecture, Engineering, and Sociology. We meet weekly, travel to events together, and reflect on our interviews and observations collectively. Though our focuses vary in studying architects, engineers, or planners, we use the same methods and theories and think about dissent in these fields comparatively.


Ana Quiñones Colon (BS, University of Colorado Boulder, 2020) is an architectural designer and community community engagement specialist with Boulder County. Her experiences growing up have led her to critically think and engage in conversations about the intersections of art/design and social injustices and how we can address them through our work. She works with the Spatial Justice Design Collective at CU Boulder through speculative design concepts and exhibit making.


Ann Dang (BS, University of Colorado Boulder, 2019)is an architectural designer who is going to Washington University in St. Louis to pursue a masters in Architecture. She works with the Spatial Justice Design Collective to produce exhibits and creative works tackling race and gender inequities in architecture. 


Joris Gjata (PhD, University of Virginia, 2017)is an economic sociologist doing research at the intersection of regulation, organizations, professions, and innovation. She highlights how the design and implementation of rules affects inequality and is shaped by power and culture.


Matthew Rowe (PhD, University of California Berkeley, 2018)is a cultural sociologist dedicated to understanding the personal experience of meaning-making within structured social participation. Through this lens, he studies careers, identity narratives, and community attachment.


Shawhin Roudbari (PhD, University of California Berkeley, 2013) is an assistant professor in Environmental Design at CU Boulder. He studies designers' participation in contentious politics and social problems. He bridges sociological theories of social movements and race with architectural design and theory.



We're always looking to connect. Feel free to get in touch with questions, ideas for interviews, notifications about events, and to share thoughts about the project. 

Follow what we're thinking about and other project updates on Twitter or IG @dissentXdesign or email us at

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