Who We Are

About Pause and Effect

We know that designers care about creating products that matter. Our mission is to support them in building solutions that transform systems of inequity into ones that liberate people and heal the planet.

We are a growing collective of dreamers and designers, guided by a unified vision for inclusive, decolonized, and liberated futures. When you work with us, you tap in to a breadth of practiced and lived experience. To learn more about the team and our individual expertise, we encourage you to visit our team page.

Meet the Team

Pause and Effect was born out of an observation that “Human Centered” approaches to design unintentionally reinforce systems of oppression, and contribute to environmental degradation. We help teams operationalize equity and environmental responsibility so that it becomes an embedded, integrated and imaginative practice.

Pause and Effect has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes and the Vancouver Tech Journal, and has authored a number of thought pieces. You can also learn more about our philosophy, and learning journey through the Inclusive Design Podcast, available on Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts.

Our Framework

Two graphics, with Human Centered Design to the left, and and arrow pointing from that to, Relational Design on the right. Left graphic of a pyramid, highlighting the top of a white cis male, then the global majority of people. Under are animals, and land. Right graphic of a circle where all those same elements live inside without levels or order.

Dominant worldviews are based on an imperial philosophy that places privileged humans at the top of an imagined hierarchy – extracting the labour of Black, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities, and harming the planet.

Our Relational Design frame work is informed through the lens of equity, liberation, and regeneration (renewal).This approach to design stems from an Indigenist philosophy, and is inspired by the Haudenosaunee Seven Generations teaching.

Here we perceive humans as part of a web of ecosystems, with every element of life carrying equal importance, and contributing to our holistic wellbeing for generations to come. We center the experiences of those who have been harmed and/or excluded, and direct our energy towards collective liberation and joy.

Relational Design also informs the manner in which we respectfully engage with one another and our outer environment. Through this framework, we shift away from extractive relationships, and seek to build reciprocal, healthy connection – respecting the agency, dignity, and knowledge of all life.

Illustration by Clementina Consens, Pause and Effect. Adapted from Unpacking Design.