Design, power and colonisation

Decolonial and anti-oppressive explorations on three approaches for Design for Sustainability

Authors

  • Nicholas B. TORRETTA Umeå University
  • Lizette REITSMA RISE Interactive

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33114/adim.2019.04.314

Keywords:

Design for Sustainability, coloniality, decolonial, power structures, reflexivity

Abstract

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

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Published

2019-11-04

How to Cite

TORRETTA , N. B. ., & REITSMA , L. . (2019). Design, power and colonisation: Decolonial and anti-oppressive explorations on three approaches for Design for Sustainability. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management , 2(1), 204–213. https://doi.org/10.33114/adim.2019.04.314