Past and Present Perspectives
On Decolonizing Design : Complications and Opportunities in Disrupting Hegemonic Western Ways of Thinking, Knowing, and Creating View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Annalisa Pao
Decolonial approaches to design have become increasingly popular as designers begin to tackle the wicked problems existing in our interconnected systems and looming over our future (Irwin, 2015). Many of these systemic issues are a result of the institutions, regimes, and ideologies that result from modernity and the colonial legacies that continue to exert power over the oppressed, marginalized, and subaltern. However, the vague and persistent nature of colonial thinking makes it difficult to define what it means to decolonize, and even amongst decolonial thinkers, definitions and practices vary. It begs the questions of what does it mean to decolonize design, what does decolonized design look like, and how can we measure success (if “success” is attainable at all)? My research discusses three main areas that are key to understanding the areas of decolonizing design: design and anthropological theory, ethnographic and participatory research methods, as well as design education and praxis. From this, I outline ways we can ontologically transform what it means to “design” in the face of wicked problems, as well as pose a series of provocations as to challenge the current decolonial initiatives in design thinking, education, and practice.
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Ipek Kastas-Uzun
In urban environments, it is clearly seen that people from different ethnicities, races, regions, genders, age groups, socio-economic classes, or people with different physical abilities and powers are obliged to live together in a certain order. However, it is seen that the order in the urban public space causes a certain level of injustice and there is an increasing awareness that urban public spaces are not used similarly and equally by all members of society. Different design disciplines have also been an important force in shaping environments and setting indirect rules regarding how people live in those environments. There have been various planning approaches that are used to achieve just urban public spaces. The ideologies, methods, participants, and decision-makers during planning processes and how they set the rules of the physical conditions of the cities kept changing in coordination with the conditions of the historical periods and their reflections on the societies and cities. The main aim of this study is to clarify the concept of justice and how it is used in the field of urban planning. Firstly, the main approaches to the justice concept and its definitions are explained in light of the accompanying social and historical events. Secondly, the interpretations of the justice concept in related planning theories with different methods and policies are explained. Finally, two case studies one from the USA and one from Turkey are used to clarify the role of planning to set the rules of just urban public spaces.