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Torretta, Nicholas B.ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7806-8150
Alternative names
Publications (10 of 15) Show all publications
Torretta, N. B., Reitsma, L., Hillgren, P.-A., Nair van Ryneveld, T., Hansen, A.-M. & Castillo Muñoz, Y. (2023). Pluriversal spaces for decolonizing design: exploring decolonial directions for participatory design. Diseña, 22(2), Article ID 8.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pluriversal spaces for decolonizing design: exploring decolonial directions for participatory design
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2023 (English)In: Diseña, ISSN 0718-8447, Vol. 22, no 2, article id 8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Decolonization is a situated effort as it relates to the relations of privilege, power, politics, and access (3P-A, in Albarrán González’s terms) between the people involved in design in relation to wider societies. This complexity creates certain challenges for how we can understand, learn about, and nurture decolonization in design towards pluriversality, since such decolonizing effort is based on the relationship between specific individuals and the collective. In this paper, we present and discuss the ‘River project’, a participatory space for decolonizing design, created for designers and practitioners to reflect on their own 3P-A as a way to create awareness of their own oppressive potential in design work. These joint reflections challenged ideas of participation and shaped learning processes between the participants, bringing to the foreground the importance of seeing and allowing for a plurality of life and work worlds to be brought together. We build on the learnings from this project to propose the notions of pluriversal participation, pluriversal presence, and pluriversal directionality, which can help nurture decolonizing designs towards pluriversality. We conclude by arguing that, for nurturing pluriversality through Participatory Design, participation, presence, and direction must be equally pluriversal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2023
Keywords
Decolonization, Pluriverse, Participatory Design, Participation, Presence, Descolonización, Pluriverso, Diseño participativo, Participación, Presencia
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198683 (URN)10.7764/disena.22.Article.8 (DOI)2-s2.0-85158121419 (Scopus ID)
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form. 

Available from: 2022-08-17 Created: 2022-08-17 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Torretta, N. B. (2023). Take it personally: what may it take to become designers for pluriversality?: [Tómatelo personal: ¿Qué se necesita para convertir-se en Diseñadoras(es) para la pluriversalidad?]. Kepes, 20(27), 19-46
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Take it personally: what may it take to become designers for pluriversality?: [Tómatelo personal: ¿Qué se necesita para convertir-se en Diseñadoras(es) para la pluriversalidad?]
2023 (English)In: Kepes, ISSN 1794-7111, Vol. 20, no 27, p. 19-46Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [es]

Este artículo argumenta que si queremos llegar al Diseño para la pluriversalidad, no podemos hacerlo desde una noción universalista de lo que significa ser Diseñador. Este artículo describe brevemente los esfuerzos para descolonizar el Diseño, para luego examinar dos aproximaciones de Diseño en métodos de Diseño comprometidos socialmente, que enmarcan cómo los Diseñadores conectan a lugares y personas: Diseño Situado y Empatía en el Diseño. Estos discursos son luego matizados con un lente decolonial, detallando cómo los Diseñadores se sitúan y se comprometen a través de la matriz colonial del poder. Este análisis sirve como un mapa de aspectos a tener en cuenta para comprender la relación del Diseñador con lugar, historia, profesión y personas en la matriz colonial del poder. El artículo sugiere la normación de awarenessing, una toma de conciencia reflexiva orientada a la acción, sobre la propia posicionalidad, la flexibilidad en los procesos de Diseño y la incorporación de aspectos personales en el Diseño como posibles formas de abrir posturas pluriversales en el Diseño. El artículo concluye delineando las implicaciones potenciales de estas posturas para hacer, escribir y enseñar Diseño.

Abstract [en]

This paper argues that if we aim to Design for pluriversality, we cannot do so from a universalist notion of what it means to be a Designer. This paper briefly describes the efforts of decolonizing Design, then looks into two Design approaches in socially engaged Design methods that frame how Designers connect to place and people: Situated Design and Design Empathy. These discourses are then further nuanced by adding a decolonial lens, nuancing how Designers are situated and engage through the colonial matrix of power. This then serves as a map of aspects to be taken into consideration for nuancing a Designer’s relation place, history, profession and people in the colonial matrix of power. This paper then suggest the notions of awarenessing, an action-oriented reflective awareness on one’s position, flexibility in Design processes and the incorporation of personal aspects into Designing as possible ways to open up for pluriversal Design stances. The paper concludes by outlining potential implications of opening up for such stances in doing, writing and teaching Design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Universidad de Caldas, 2023
Keywords
Design, decolonization, power, pluriverse, Diseño, descolonización, poder, pluriverso
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198684 (URN)10.17151/kepes.2023.20.27.2 (DOI)2-s2.0-85168146759 (Scopus ID)
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form with title: "Take it personally: what is a designer for pluriversality?"

Available from: 2022-08-17 Created: 2022-08-17 Last updated: 2023-09-14Bibliographically approved
Clark, B. & Torretta, N. B. (2022). Improvisational Design Dialogue: exploring relational design encounters as means to dismantle oppression in design. In: Dan Lockton; Sara Lenzi; Paul Hekkert; Arlene Oak; Juan Sádaba; Peter Lloyd (Ed.), DRS2022: Bilbao. Paper presented at Design Research Society Conference 2022, Bilbao, Spain, June 25 – July 1, 2022.. London: Design Research Society, Article ID 104.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improvisational Design Dialogue: exploring relational design encounters as means to dismantle oppression in design
2022 (English)In: DRS2022: Bilbao / [ed] Dan Lockton; Sara Lenzi; Paul Hekkert; Arlene Oak; Juan Sádaba; Peter Lloyd, London: Design Research Society, 2022, article id 104Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

To explore dismantling oppressive power relations in design, we bring to fore design encounters through the lens of relationality and improvisational competence. This paper is based on the premise that, if we are to move toward decolonizing design, design(ers) needs to re-think the organization of the design encounter and how we as designers practice participation in such encounters. We emphasize the improvisational nature of turn-taking in dialogue amidst asymmetric and dynamic power relations, with design’s commitment to generating resources for future practices, and decolonization’s commitment to re-configure power structures. After problematizing the design encounter from a power relation perspective, we explore practice models for developing improvisational competence. We do this by looking at the two improvisational dialogic practices of Capoeira and Improv Theater. We focus on what it can mean to develop skills in “improvisational competence” of relationality in design. We first touch on our previous Participatory Design work in the language learning “in the wild” agenda and then draw on each of our personal improvisational practices: Capoeira martial art, and improvisational theater. We then outline possibilities for relational improvisational design dialogue and conclude by outlining how it can be practiced in Design education and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Design Research Society, 2022
Series
PROCEEDINGS OF DRS, ISSN 2398-3132
Keywords
power relation, improvisation, relationality, decolonization
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198677 (URN)10.21606/drs.2022.386 (DOI)978-1-91229-457-2 (ISBN)
Conference
Design Research Society Conference 2022, Bilbao, Spain, June 25 – July 1, 2022.
Note

Joint authorship with names in alphabetical order.

Available from: 2022-08-17 Created: 2022-08-17 Last updated: 2023-01-27Bibliographically approved
Torretta, N. B. (2022). Moving decolonially in design for sustainabilities: spaces, rhythms, rituals, celebrations, conflicts. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå: Umeå universitet
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
Clark, B. & Torretta, N. B. (2021). Improvisational Design Dialogue. In: CHI2021 Online interactive workshop: Decolonizing Design Practices: Towards Pluriversality. Paper presented at CHI 2021, Online Virtual Conference (Originally Yokohama, Japan), May 8-13, 2021.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improvisational Design Dialogue
2021 (English)In: CHI2021 Online interactive workshop: Decolonizing Design Practices: Towards Pluriversality, 2021Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We take the position that, if we wish to move toward decolonizing design, design(ers) needs to re-think the organization of the design encounter and how we as designers practice participation in that encounter. We emphasize the improvisational nature of turn-taking in “real-time” dialogue amidst asymmetric and dynamic power relations, with design’s commitment to generating resources for future practices, and decolonization’s commitment to re-configure power structures. Improvisational design dialogue – unraveling partial glimpses of our individual and collective journeys in improvised performances of potential realities through a dance of multimodal, partially distributed, partially synchronized dialogue in the “design present”. 

Keywords
decolonizing design, participatory design
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-186516 (URN)
Conference
CHI 2021, Online Virtual Conference (Originally Yokohama, Japan), May 8-13, 2021
Note

4-page position paper, currently under development for a special issue. 

Available from: 2021-08-10 Created: 2021-08-10 Last updated: 2023-01-27Bibliographically approved
Torretta, N. B., Reitsma, L., Clark, B., Hillgren, P.-A. & Jönsson, L. (2021). Stories for Collaborative Survival. In: Eva Brandt; Thomas Markussen; Eeva Berglund; Per Linde (Ed.), Matters of Scale: NORDES 2021. Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Design Research Conference. Paper presented at NORDES 2021, Nordic Design Research Conference, Online via Kolding, Denmark, August 15-18, 2021 (pp. 495-498). Kolding: Design School Kolding; University of Southern Denmark, 9
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stories for Collaborative Survival
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2021 (English)In: Matters of Scale: NORDES 2021. Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Design Research Conference / [ed] Eva Brandt; Thomas Markussen; Eeva Berglund; Per Linde, Kolding: Design School Kolding; University of Southern Denmark , 2021, Vol. 9, p. 495-498Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

What if this abstract was actually the middle of the story? And instead of it being a summary of what we try to do in this workshop, by individual ‘heroes’ that summarize the whole text, this section would be a collective account of why the text is worth reading and sharing. What if this section was not the beginning of a linear story, but a passage in a circular (re)telling of a shared experience? What if experimenting with such non-linear stories might change the way we tell stories in and through design? In this workshop we invite the design research community to explore how to situate sustainability through storytelling. In this workshop we explore how to bring forward individual neglected stories, dislodging heroic and universalist narratives, to explore how we can collectively listen, share, co-create and tell stories that can contribute to survival across individual and social scales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kolding: Design School Kolding; University of Southern Denmark, 2021
Series
Nordic design research conference, ISSN 1604-9705
Keywords
design research, participatory design, sustainability, collaborative survival
National Category
Design
Research subject
design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-187157 (URN)
Conference
NORDES 2021, Nordic Design Research Conference, Online via Kolding, Denmark, August 15-18, 2021
Available from: 2021-09-03 Created: 2021-09-03 Last updated: 2023-01-27Bibliographically approved
Torretta, N. B. & Reitsma, L. (2019). Design, power and colonisation: decolonial and antioppressive explorations on three approaches for Design for Sustainability. In: Academy for Design Innovation Management 2019 (ADIM2019), Loughborough University London, 18th - 21st June, 2019: . Paper presented at Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019. London
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design, power and colonisation: decolonial and antioppressive explorations on three approaches for Design for Sustainability
2019 (English)In: Academy for Design Innovation Management 2019 (ADIM2019), Loughborough University London, 18th - 21st June, 2019, London, 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Our contemporary world is organized in a modern/colonial structure. As people,professions and practices engage in cross-country Design for Sustainability (DfS), projectshave the potential of sustaining or changing modern/colonial power structures. In suchproject relations, good intentions in working for sustainability do not directly result inliberation from modern/colonial power structures. In this paper we introduce threeapproaches in DfS that deal with power relations. Using a Freirean (1970) decolonialperspective, we analyse these approaches to see how they can inform DfS towards beingdecolonial and anti-oppressive. We conclude that steering DfS to become decolonial orcolonizing is a relational issue based on the interplay between the designers’ position inthe modern/colonial structure, the design approach chosen, the place and the peopleinvolved in DfS. Hence, a continuous critical reflexive practice is needed in order to preventDfS from becoming yet another colonial tool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: , 2019
Keywords
Design for Sustainability, coloniality, decolonial, power structures, reflexivity
National Category
Design
Research subject
design; sustainability; political science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161779 (URN)
Conference
Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019
Available from: 2019-08-02 Created: 2019-08-02 Last updated: 2023-01-27Bibliographically approved
Lilja, N., Piirainen-Marsh, A., Clark, B. & Torretta, N. B. (2019). The rally course: learners as co-designers of out-of-classroom language learning tasks. In: John Hellermann; Søren W. Eskildsen; Simona Pekarek Doehler; Arja Piirainen-Marsh (Ed.), Conversation analytic research on learning-in-action: the complex ecology of second language interaction ‘in the wild’ (pp. 219-248). Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The rally course: learners as co-designers of out-of-classroom language learning tasks
2019 (English)In: Conversation analytic research on learning-in-action: the complex ecology of second language interaction ‘in the wild’ / [ed] John Hellermann; Søren W. Eskildsen; Simona Pekarek Doehler; Arja Piirainen-Marsh, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2019, , p. 30p. 219-248Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter introduces a “Rally Course” as a novel CA-inspired approach to teaching a second language. This approach builds on an understanding of language learning as a social process that is closely intertwined with L2 speakers’ evolving membership in the surrounding community. It addresses the need to develop experiential pedagogies that widen learners’ opportunities for interaction and support the socialisation process. Building on recent pedagogical initiatives supporting language learning in the wild, we illustrate the overall structure of the Rally Course, describe the main materials that were designed to support the learning objectives and present a case analysis of a student carrying out a pedagogical activity supported by the materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2019. p. 30
Series
Educational Linguistics, ISSN 1572-0292, E-ISSN 2215-1656 ; 38
Keywords
Interaction navigator, Journey map, Mapping activity, Photo journal, Rally Course
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-203462 (URN)10.1007/978-3-030-22165-2_9 (DOI)2-s2.0-85091157078 (Scopus ID)978-3-030-22164-5 (ISBN)978-3-030-22165-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-01-18 Created: 2023-01-18 Last updated: 2023-01-27Bibliographically approved
Clark, B. & Torretta, N. B. (2018). Co-creating language learning journeys: a designerly approach to supporting experiential language learning practices : a resource for teachers and teacher educators. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-creating language learning journeys: a designerly approach to supporting experiential language learning practices : a resource for teachers and teacher educators
2018 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is often a great difference between what a student learns in a second language class and the competence a student needs to use a second language in the context of everyday life. The ability to speak a language and the ability to participate in everyday activities using a language are tightly linked. For many, the goal of language learning is to be able to participate competently in activities with other people using the target language, whether it is in a simple service interaction such as ordering food at a restaurant, or joining a conversation with colleagues during a break at work, or more involved types of participation such as interacting with the hospital staff during an emergency, or giving a presentation to a room full of colleagues, investors, or a scientific community. These interactive situations are potentially influenced by the physical environment, surrounding physical artefacts, gestures and other bodily actions. Often these situated interactions are influenced by what each of the participants may have been doing before and what they are intending to do afterward, and the practices they have developed in similar situations, and the relationships they have developed with the other participants. 

These materials introduce a set of concepts, 'toolboxes' and examples for supporting a reflective experiential language learning practice where the learner uses the social interactions in everyday situations as the basis for reflection and future action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2018. p. 29
Series
KONECT teaching materials ; 7
National Category
Educational Sciences Design
Research subject
education; design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147795 (URN)978-84-09-00969-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-05-18 Created: 2018-05-18 Last updated: 2023-01-27Bibliographically approved
Sanchez de La Barquera, X. & Torretta, N. B. (2018). Journeys of Displacement Between South and North: Decolonizing a Designer Imaginary. In: : . Paper presented at First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City, 3–7 September, 2018. Mexico City
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Journeys of Displacement Between South and North: Decolonizing a Designer Imaginary
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In a globalized world that promotes universal desires, southern epistemologies struggle to flourish against westernized notions of values, beauty and life goals. This manifestation of Coloniality (Grosfoguel, 2006) is strengthened by the mainstream systems of production and consumption of both goods and knowledge, where design is a driving force. Design, has been taught from generations in academy under the same Eurocentric canons that disseminate the values of capitalism and search for economic growth. Designers, have been worldwide trained to think, value and act according to the standards of aesthetics, progress and development set in the North. However, the current global unsustainability crises make more evident the global power dynamics, and the need to maintain diverse and contextualized forms of seeing and acting with the world.

Our own experience of being trained as designers in the south, and now relocated to the north is making us aware of our life desires imposed by contemporary coloniality. However, this relocation also builds on the advantages of coloniality, for instance, by being in contexts that have a stronger voice in international disciplinary communities. As others in our situation, we don’t want to be colonizers by being the “north in the south”. In this presentation we show journeys of deconstructing design, sustainability and their values and worldviews through transitioning between south and north. These journeys are motivated by the intention of creating mutual learning between south and north. We aim at supporting the transition of our discipline from Eurocentric worldview to more diverse worldviews and systems of values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mexico City: , 2018
Keywords
design for sustainability, coloniality, globa North, global South, Eurocentric design
National Category
Design
Research subject
sustainability
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-151954 (URN)
Conference
First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City, 3–7 September, 2018
Available from: 2018-09-19 Created: 2018-09-19 Last updated: 2023-01-27Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7806-8150

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