An interactive exhibit and series on the history of structural inequality in the US

February 3 to March 9, 2017
KnowledgeLab, Second Floor of Neilson Library, Smith College


We invite you to visit and participate in an interactive exhibition and pop-up library called Undesign the Redline – created by the NYC-based social impact design collective, Designing the WE, and hosted by the KnowledgeLab on the second floor of Neilson Library at Smith College.  Sign up for one of the tours with the Designing the WE team via EventBrite.  Tours will be held on Feb 3, 16, 17 and March 8.


On display from February 3 to March 9, the exhibit invites participants to “explore how redlining and other policies, practices, and investments create systemic disparities and inequalities that not only perpetuate our most pressing social challenges, but impede the full potential of democracy.” The exhibit has been customized for our community, with references to Pioneer Valley history and historic maps of Boston, Hartford, Holyoke/Chicopee, and Springfield. Interactive mapping projects from the Spatial Analysis Lab will be on display from Lisa Armstrong’s SWG 230 (Gender, Land and Food Movements), highlighting food access, gentrification, and the school-to-prison pipeline.


Join us on February 8th for a related guest lecture by historian Nathan DB Connolly, author of the award-winning book, A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow in South Florida (Chicago, 2014). On February 16th, we’ll host a dynamic panel discussion about how the design of both physical and virtual environments overlap with structures of inequality, with the Designing the WE team in conversation with the following scholars: Joseph Krupczynski, Director of the Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning and Associate Professor of Architecture at UMass-Amherst, and founding director of The Center for Design Engagement (C*DE), a non-profit design resource center in Holyoke; Serin Houston, Assistant Professor of Geography and International Relations at Mount Holyoke College and author of forthcoming Seattle: Real Change?; and Chris Gilliard, Professor of writing, literature and digital studies at Macomb Community College and author of “Digital Redlining, Access, and Privacy” (2016).

The series will end with a March 9th screening of MAJOR! — a documentary profile of 75 year old Black transgender elder and activist Major Griffin-Gracy, hosted by Jennifer DeClue, Assistant Professor in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender at Smith.

Undesign Sign

You can view the exhibit on your own at anytime the library is open.

To learn more,  please check the series website: