Mahima Silwal, Economics, BMC ‘22

Social Justice and Social Change Praxis Fieldwork Seminar

Faculty Advisor: David Karen

Field Site: Four Walls Interior Design

Field Supervisor: Soné Ehabé

Praxis Poster:

Mahima Silwal Final Poster 4.26.22


Further Context:

I am so grateful to have been able to take part in David Karen’s praxis seminar on Social Justice and Social Change. For my fieldwork, I supported 4Walls Interior Design with their social media and brand strategy. I met Soné Ehabe, Principal Designer and Founder of 4Walls Interior Design because I was invited to participate in the interior design committee for the new Student Life and Wellness Building. In particular, I was motivated to reach out to Soné about the possibility of joining 4Walls as part of my praxis fieldwork because I wanted to explore the interactions between design and creating truly inclusive spaces. So many of the initial conversations, ideas, and stylistic choices that came out of the interior design committee pushed me to think critically about the spaces I experience daily. Who designs the spaces I experience? What are the intended or unintended consequences of the identity of who creates, designs, and decides the elements of a space? Why is it important to be intentional about creating spaces that ALL people feel welcome? What are the historical and sociological theories and perspectives that explore the intersection of urban design, social justice, and advocacy work?

This semester, I enjoyed spending time learning more about the history, mission, and motivations of 4Walls. It was essential for me to under the brand’s values and mission to orient and guide social media strategy across channels. For my fieldwork, I conducted background research on client sites and artist partners. I found it particularly rewarding to learn more about how intentional Soné is about acknowledging and incorporating the history of a space when creating interior design plans, as well as partnering with women and people of color and local Philly based artists. My favorite thing about my work building out a content calendar with weekly themes, outlining categories for Instagram highlights, and collaborating on copy was seeing the intentionality behind Soné’s choices at every stage of a process. From the clients she works with, the materials she uses, the partners she leverages, and the stories she tells with her designs, I have learned a lot about the connection between design and creating inclusive spaces. Above all, my biggest takeaway from my praxis experience is that I have complete agency to create opportunities to do meaningful social justice work through my skills and passion for digital work.