How has Instagram been used to bring awareness to AAPI activism in the years 2019–2022?
This dissertation is about the role of socially concerned design on Instagram and how it has been used to bring awareness to Asian American activism in the years 2019–2022. The aims of this study were to identify current discourse surrounding AAPI activism, critically evaluate the role of design activism and gain insight into the design process of these activist campaigns. These aims are important because they suggest how social media can be a powerful method to share positive messages.
This research paper used qualitative methods of semi-structured interviews and visual analysis to learn from professionals and to critically examine existing social activism. Both approaches used reproduceable systematic methods to find designers to interview and to collect pieces for analysis. Microsoft Teams was used for the interviews and data was collected via transcript. Images were sorted into sub-samples and analysed through comparison between similar posts.
This research was used to create a list of recommendations for improving AAPI activism on Instagram and to highlight the cultural progression AAPI communities have faced.
This study aims to start a wider conversation into social justice and how design activism can contribute. Findings from the research support the ideas of positive and powerful representation that were highlighted in the literature review. On a broader scale, this research may act as inspiration for further study, as my research has shown that AAPI activism is a recent and expanding field.
A copy of my dissertation is available upon request from

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