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Reorienting design towards a decolonial ethos: exploring directions for decolonial design
Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7806-8150
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0976-670X
2024 (English)In: Design and Culture, ISSN 1754-7075, E-ISSN 1754-7083Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Contemporary Industrial Design, as professional and academic practice, exists intertwined with the global hegemonic power structures of coloniality (Buckley 1986; Escobar 2018a; Mareis and Paim 2020). Problematizing this situatedness, the effort of Decolonizing Design emerges as a twofold effort: first to unlink it from this structure, opening up for diverse understandings of Design and, second, to remove oppressive behaviors from Design. In this paper we present a decolonial intervention in an Industrial Design education in the Global North as an exploration of how to shift Design towards decolonial emancipation. From this project, we suggest the categories of listening, learning, and loving as guidelines for decolonizing Design. We conclude arguing that the work necessary to dismantle Design as we know it and explore decolonial directions demands that we continually work to break and counterbalance the allegiance to its Eurocentrism and oppressive ways of working.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2024.
Keywords [en]
decolonization, emancipation, critical pedagogy, relationality, Indigenous methodologies, industrial design
National Category
Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198682DOI: 10.1080/17547075.2024.2356764ISI: 001242850600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85195505508OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-198682DiVA, id: diva2:1688143
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form. 

Available from: 2022-08-17 Created: 2022-08-17 Last updated: 2024-06-26
In thesis
1. Moving decolonially in design for sustainabilities: spaces, rhythms, rituals, celebrations, conflicts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moving decolonially in design for sustainabilities: spaces, rhythms, rituals, celebrations, conflicts
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Rörandes dekolonialt inom design for hållbarhet : utrymmen, rytmer, ritualer, firanden, konflikter
Abstract [en]

As design attempts to tackle environmental and social issues, it has found itself intertwined with and bound to an oppressive global paradigm that has created the problems in the first place. Consequently, the effort of disentangling design from its current paradigm has been gaining attention under the emerging focus of decolonising design (Mareis and Paim, 2020; Tlostanova, 2017) and design for pluriversality (Escobar, 2018; Noel, 2020). These efforts have argued for allowing various ways of defining and doing design to coexist as a way forward. However, if on one side we have design intertwined with oppressive global structures, and on the other side we have the desire to allow the co-existence of pluriverses of designing, we are left with a gap in between. What are possible openings to move from contemporary design to pluriverses of designing? 

This dissertation tackles this question to explore openings to move towards pluriverses of designing. Building on work done by scholars such as Escobar (2018a, 2018b, 2015), Noel (2020) and Vázquez (2017), this design research program seeks to contribute to decolonising design by providing examples and orientation points to move towards pluriversality. To do so, it uses a practice-based design research approach where practice and moving are framed by the Afro-Brazilian decolonial martial art of Capoeira, which focuses on finding openings to escape from colonial oppression. Capoeira allows us to look at how contemporary design moves in order to identify its flaws and use these as openings towards other ways of designing.

This dissertation moves through several levels of abstraction, taking an up-close look at the entanglement of design and oppressive global structures as a starting point and then moving down in scale through the efforts of Design for Sustainability, decolonising design and design for pluriversality. Reaching the level of focus on situated design action, this work presents a collection of six collaborative movements in the form of academic publications. Drawing on these movements, the work outlines possible aspects for fomenting decolonial design stances to move towards pluriversality and traces the possible implications for doing, writing, teaching and understanding design. The concepts of awarenessing, pluriversal directionality and bringing personal stances into defining designing are proposed as orientation points to move towards pluriverses of design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2022. p. 263
Series
Umeå Institute of Design Research Publications ; 11
Keywords
Design, decolonization, sustainability, Capoeira, movement, decolonising design, design for sustainability, pluriverse, pluriversality, industrial design
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198656 (URN)978-91-7855-853-7 (ISBN)978-91-7855-854-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-09-21, Project Studio (via Zoom), Östra Strandgatan 30, Umeå, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Various pagination.

Chapter 6 and appendix 2 contain appended papers and are not included in pdf. 

Available from: 2022-08-31 Created: 2022-08-16 Last updated: 2023-12-15Bibliographically approved

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Torretta, Nicholas B.Clark, BrendonRedström, Johan

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