“Critical Creature Cards” is a project investigating how we could use media to help parents talk to their young children about race and racism in a constructive way. The aim of our project is to prompt and facilitate conversations between parents and their children about issues of race and systemic racism. These conversations are intended not only to teach children how to have a healthy mindset, but to maneuver parents into engaging with the taboo topics of race and racism.


As Ralph Caplan explains in his book “By Design,” “design is a process for making things right, for shaping what people need.”  While most white parents do not want their children to be racist, they themselves do not have a full enough understanding of racism to address this problem. What they need is a support system that makes them feel comfortable approaching race and a fuller understanding of systemic racism so they can teach their children to have a progressive attitude towards race and equality.


While most media—especially children’s media—reacts to what mainstream audiences say they want, we are designing media that is proactive in providing what families actually need to make equality a reality. With this project, we believe that we have shown how design can be utilized as a process for “making things right”. Not just making things pretty, or making things functional, but truly leading the push for social change at the interpersonal and systemic level.


Collaborator: Joseph Wheeler




For more information on the project, process, research, and prototypes