Decolonising Design

Over the last century, much of the contemporary academic and professional discourse within the design disciplines have been, with a few notable fringe exceptions, surprisingly bereft of a critical reflection on the politics of design practice, and on the politics of the artifacts, systems and practices that designerly activity produces.

Our premise is that, notwithstanding important and valued exceptions, the field of design studies as a whole is not geared towards delivering the kinds of knowledge and understanding that are adequate to addressing the systemic problems that arise from the coloniality of power.

We acknowledge that this deficiency is a reflection of the limitations of the institutions within which design is studied and practiced, as well as the broader context of the colonial matrix.

We understand the (re)design of institutions, design practices and design studies (efforts that always occur under conditions of contested political interests) to be a pivotal challenge in the process of decolonisation.

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