This chapter brings three different perspectives on decolonising design education into dialogue via the method of a roundtable discussion. The roundtable format was chosen as a means to reflect the differing and respective loci of enunciation of each author within the dialogue, an approach that is itself the expression of the pedagogical philosophy of the Decolonising Design group. Our intention is to complement, contrast, challenge, and reflect on one another’s experiences while at the same time respecting their places of origin and thought. We begin with an argument for questioning “design” and “design education” as an expression of capitalist-imperial strategy. For decolonial theorist Ramón Grosfoguel, the predominance of canonical, Eurocentric knowledge within the curriculums of Westernised universities informs a relationship between the increasing neoliberalisation of the University as an institution, as well as the formation of students who are more concerned with the needs and desires of employment markets rather than with critical thinking. The discussion moves on to consider a possible re-contextualisation of the concept of design education in the Global South, albeit borrowed from the West, as a site of transformation, positioned and shaped in distinct ways by the coloniality of power. We conclude by articulating these situated tactics as contributing to collective recodings of the university as a site of decolonising transformation and encourage others to find their own tactics, from where they stand.

This chapter is an experiment in thinking about decolonising design education through multiple sites/locations via the method of a roundtable discussion, in which three distinct perspectives come into dialogue and complement, contrast, challenge, or reflect on one another. Through this approach we seek to keep a plurality of voices―present within the group, but also paramount to our pedagogical endeavours―as a core component of this text. The discussion proceeds by connecting our shared experiences with our own locally situated pedagogical methodologies. The criteria of these selections are themselves based upon a critical question: how do such tactics of resistance differ within Westernised universities of the Global South, 1 compared to universities in the Global North, where many of us work? This scope is interesting, since even within the Global South, how students interact with the subject matter differs―not only from country to country, or city to city, but from institution to institution. How we, as members of the Decolonising Design group, teach this subject with design’s location in the university―at a single-discipline university versus more traditional institutions―shapes our tactics. What we are most of all cognisant of elucidating here is that institutional functions occur within specific milieus.

For decolonial theorist Ramón Grosfoguel, the predominance of canonical, Eurocentric knowledge within the curricula of Westernised universities informs a relationship between the increasing neoliberalisation of the University as an institution, as well as the formation of students who are more concerned with the needs and desires of employment markets rather than with critical thinking. 2 Westernised universities, he argues, maintain disciplinary divisions and promote knowledge from a narrow scope of thinkers and practitioners―namely male, white and Western. It cannot but produce, in turn, Westernised elites in the Global South (or non-West) that act not only as active promoters but also as active gatekeepers of Eurocentric and colonial knowledges.

This roundtable begins with an argument for questioning “design” and “design education” as an expression of capitalist-imperial strategy.  The discussion moves on to consider a possible re-contextualisation of the concept of design education in the Global South, albeit borrowed from the West, as a site of transformation, positioned and shaped in distinct ways by the coloniality of power. The interest in transformation relates to both the way in which universities and their design programmes have historically operated as sites of racial, gendered, ability and class-based exclusion, but at the same time nodes of subversive and radical resistance. Secondly, we explore―from our respective locations―how coloniality extends itself into the space of design curricula. We discuss how the inclusion/exclusion of coloniality defines the trajectory of that faculty’s relationship to material and discursive phenomena that maintains a coloniality of power in that sphere.

Thirdly, we provide insights into our own strategies and tactics of resistance in these sites. We provide two examples, at the granular level, of the site of our subversive curriculum practice. This includes mapping and other methodologies or pedagogical points of articulation that, from where we individually stand, embody and design a politics of decolonisation by both unravelling and enunciating place-based―historical, material, ontological, epistemological―exclusions, or material-historical conditions with students, and redirecting concepts towards reparative forms of relational plurality. Finally, we describe the pluriversal approaches to co-opting the university, from the inside out. 3 The last section raises an important question and challenge to decolonial practice: what does the designer do when intervening for and towards the pluriverse means dealing with sometimes incommensurable cosmological orders? We conclude by articulating these situated tactics as contributing to collective recodings of the university as a site of decolonising transformation and encourage others to find their own tactics, from where they stand.

Matthew Kiem

My entry into academic research began with an interest in thinking critically about the structures that condition the meaning and direction of design education, so it is with some interest that I come back to the topic almost a decade or so later. 4 Needless to say, many aspects of both my thinking and my circumstances have changed from when I began thinking about this topic, while other things have remained more or less consistent. A summary of this situation might be that I have a more informed understanding of the oftentimes intractable problems that flow through and by way of “design” and “education”. This view is tied to the experience of trying to shift these circumstances within and beyond the sphere of higher education. These efforts have included work that we have done as the Decolonising Design group, as well as my experiences as part of the xBorder network, and, more recently, through my involvement in the Australia and New Zealand-based How Might We Do Good project. Together these experiences and connections provide the threads that help me to make sense of the limits and conditions of “design education”.

In preparing for this roundtable I have been reading and reflecting on Arindam Dutta’s study of the British Department of Science and Art (DSA), an institution that led to the formation of “design” as an object of theory, research, and training. 5 The DSA was founded in 1887 and lasted until the period before the outbreak of World War I. The scope and ambition of its activity was enormous, encompassing the financing and regulation of schools throughout Britain and its colonies; the proliferation of liberal-capitalist theories of pedagogy, aesthetics, and demography; support for industrialists and manufacturers; and innovations in policy, property rights, and financing. While the life-span of the DSA was limited, the ideas and practices of its bureaucracy had an impact far beyond the bureau’s official purview. As Dutta argues, the work of the DSA was of material significance to the emergence of a range of movements that have since been iconicised within design education, including the English Arts and Crafts movement, the Wiener Secession, the German Werkbunds and Bauhaus, and the figure of the “artisan” in the formation of Indian nationalism. Even today Dutta’s description of the DSA’s museum-art school model, the role afforded to drawing as a technique of aesthetic discipline, and the interest taken in “speculation”, “citizenship”, “participation”, “futures”, and “transition”, all pose uncanny resemblances with many topics of contemporary design discourse.

The main insight that I draw from Dutta is that the origins of contemporary “design” and “design education” discourse lie in the efforts of nineteenth-century British administrators to establish a sense of control over the contingencies forced upon them by class resistance―including gendered and subaltern―to capitalist accumulation. In Dutta’s words, the “ambit” of design within the DSA was to “transform the very basis of industrial capitalism and to confer on its mercurial behaviour a predicative systematicity”. 6 An important dimension of this process was, as Dutta argues, to recodify the metropole-colony division along the lines of distinction between the modern “designer” and the traditional “artisan”. Contra technical 7 or progressivist 8 readings of “design”, therefore, what the history of the DSA shows is that the concept of “design” and “design education” emerged not from neutral or benevolent interests, but as a specific and conscious effort to defend capitalist-colonial relations of power against the spectres of anti-imperialist uprisings and proletarian revolts.

As with my opening reflection, a question this raises for us today is: what exactly has or has not changed for “design education” since its early invention and institutionalisation? On this point we can observe, for instance, that while the field of design theory and practice has indeed undergone significant changes since the time of the DSA, the concept of “design” itself still remains implicated in the process of reproducing capitalist-colonial relations. 9 Related to this is the question of how far (or not) design research and pedagogy have come in terms of understanding their own role in the reproduction of these same colonial-capitalist relations.

A more specific question for this roundtable might be: how are we to think and respond to the idea, adapted from Dutta, that “design education” is a capitalist-imperialist strategy for managing crises that arise from resistance to the terms of capitalist-colonial exploitation? To Dutta’s picture we can also add the agency of the extra-human, insofar as the colonial exploitation of land, plant, and animal life led to rates of depletion that forced the development of new theories of resource management. 10 Further to this, we can also draw the remarkably close connections that exist between Dutta’s analysis of the DSA and Angela Mitropoulos’s work on the contemporary border industrial complex. 11 For myself at least there is little doubt that much of the clarity and appeal that Dutta’s arguments have for me are a product of the time I have spent with Mitropoulos’s ideas about the struggle between anti-capitalist movements and the various modes of capture and inclusion devised to shore up the prospects of capitalist futurity, including the aesthetic. The topic of design and borders also makes Mahmoud Keshavarz’s work on passports relevant, particularly for the way in which border controls act as techniques of exploitation and discipline that structure relations of power between and among design students, practitioners, researchers, and educators. 12

As Dutta’s critical reading of Gandhi suggests: there is little sense to the idea that a movement can threaten the core business of capitalist-imperial exploitation simply for appealing to the concept of “decolonisation” alone. As such, my suggestion here that “design education” is and has always been an imperial project is not meant to imply that every claim to “decolonise design” is as worthwhile or effective as any other. That said, my questioning of “design education” as an imperial strategy is done with a view to supporting alternatives to design (as) imperialism rather than as a simple rejection of the concept of “design” itself.

Luiza Pradode O. Martinsand Pedro J S Vieira de Oliveira

We’d like to begin by engaging with Matt’s description above of design education as a “capitalist-imperialist strategy for managing crises that arise from resistance to the terms of capitalist-colonial exploitation”. Taking this consideration as a starting point, we would like to critically examine the foundations of design curricula in Brazil. Much like its Latin American neighbours, Brazil went through the 1960s and until halfway through the 1980s under a violent, repressive, US-backed military dictatorship; it was during this time that design established itself as the means to produce a workforce capable of “developing” the country towards liberalist models of conspicuous consumption advanced by post-war policies of economic intervention in former colonies, implemented by US President Harry S. Truman.

The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century brought a number of fast-paced social, economic, and political shifts to Brazil. Slavery had been legally abolished only in 1888―the last country in the Americas to do so. At the time, the country’s economy relied almost exclusively on agricultural products and resources; during the first half of the twentieth century, however, a series of developmentalist and industrialising policies brought about a need for a new workforce―one that should have both technical and artistic training. 13 In order to assemble that workforce, from 1850 onwards the Brazilian state developed official policies designed to facilitate the immigration of white Europeans, in an attempt to “whiten” the racial make-up of the country. Although a number of training initiatives meant to supply these skills had been established throughout the country since the mid-nineteenth century, 14 the establishment of design education a century later was seen by governmental institutions as a path towards Western notions of development and modernisation.

It is during this time that some of the so-called “canonical” design courses in the country were established, including what was arguably the first design school to be implemented in Brazil―Rio de Janeiro’s Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial (ESDI), founded in 1963. The school’s curriculum, developed during the 1950s, was based on the model of the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) Ulm, a German design school and bastion of mid-century German functionalism established in the aftermath of World War II, which “sought to review the Bauhaus ideals through the perspective of a decidedly industrial society in the post-War period”. 15 Influenced by the Ulm School, ESDI’s curriculum maintained a technology- and production-oriented approach to design education―in sharp contrast to the more humanist methods common in many higher education institutions in Brazil. 16

Design was promoted in a concerted effort, according to Washington Lessa, as “a magical makeup tool for Brazilian export products”. 17 Fundamentally entangled with conservative powers―and in many cases establishing the very conditions for its emergence―design education remained, until later in the 1970s, disassociated from the insurgent anti-dictatorship movements that were being articulated within public universities. The project for ESDI was only made possible through an alliance between the then governor of Guanabara (today’s Rio de Janeiro state) Carlos Lacerda, and Rio’s Museum of Modern Art. Lacerda was one of the most prominent voices for UDN, a conservative party that would then migrate, for the most part, to the dictatorship’s establishment party ARENA, while Lacerda himself was one of the civil leaders supporting the coup of 1964. According to historian Rafael Cardoso, Lacerda’s support for the project of the school was largely due to UDN’s fear of appearing uncommitted to an industrialist and developmentalist project for the country, a popular position with many sectors of Brazilian society―including those at the left. 18
A haunting example of the seemingly apolitical alignment of the design establishment is illustrated by the first Design Bienal, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1969. In that same year, the Bienal de São Paulo had been the subject of intense political clashes and a number of boycotts in response to its administration’s burgeoning ties to the dictatorship. 19 Yet, the Design Bienal―although guided by very similar principles―was not met with the same kind of resistance; indeed, Ethel Leon remarks:

The Design Bienal seemed to belong to a neutral ground. Who would think of fridges, stoves, domestic appliances or office chairs and institutional logos as territories of political dispute? This role belonged to art, whose authors could be enfant terriblesto the establishment. Designers, on the other hand, seemed to be allies of the industry, of productive rationality, of the capitalist entrepreneurial representation. 20

Emerging within this context, the hegemonic perception of what design education should be became aligned, in many ways, with the implied role of design itself: that of sustaining the status quo by consciously removing itself from any political enterprise. Yet, some courses did resist this impetus, seeking approaches to design education that took into account Brazil’s specific political and cultural conditions. A notable example was the design course offered by the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea (IAC), an enterprise founded in 1951 by architect Lina Bo Bardi at the São Paulo Museum of Art, an event that directly challenges the oft-repeated misconception that ESDI was the “first” design school in Brazil. 21 The two schools were fundamentally different in many aspects; Bardi, who identified as a communist, believed that taking into account local, traditional knowledges and processes of making was fundamental for a design course to be established in Brazil. 22 She firmly rejected the hierarchisation of artistic practices, stating that “[a]rt is a whole formed by parts, and each of these integrates the whole, from a prosaic but useful pot to Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Gioconda’.” 23 Although she maintained contact with international institutions, Bardi envisioned IAC as a school that responded to the needs and yearnings of the local culture and society―in sharp contrast to ESDI’s Ulm-oriented approach. Unfortunately, IAC’s design course ran for a mere two years before shutting down. Among the reasons for its demise were a “lack of financial support […] and difficulties in establishing a relationship between the new designers and the industry”. 24

The developmentalist foundations of design curricula in Brazil continue to inform how the field is understood within and outside universities. Even with the introduction of affirmative action policies by the Workers’ Party government in 2000―a long overdue reparatory action, which significantly shifted the professional make-up of the country―design is still regarded as an “apolitical”, solution-based discipline, which seeks to promote social equity through a capitalist-imperialist modes of exploitation. Brazil, having economic potency within its own geopolitical location, has not undergone a profound interrogation of its role as merely an exporter of goods, and its implication in the ongoing precariousness of labour conditions. Design curricula, in situating themselves within a so-called “apolitical” and conformist perspective, function not only as mirrors but also as active enforcers and reproducers of a neoliberal mentality.

In our pedagogical practice, we employ a student-centric approach to disentangle the knotted threads of what design does and what it can do. We eschew solution-oriented approaches in favour of a process of “finding how”, where students seek for themselves the best approach to tackle the issues they are interested in. We believe that such a process―inspired by the works of educator Paulo Freire and playwright Augusto Boal―can elicit a much more informed and inclusive perspective on the materiality of design-driven endeavours. While designers in Brazil are often trained to become experts in industrial processes (both physical and digital) and in sharpening their market-ready skills, in our work we promote a slowed down, engaged framework for unravelling the long tail of design processes. In so doing, we aim to expand the reach of design students’ preoccupations beyond the materialisation of ideas onto a product or service.

We see this approach―which we call “Impossible Methods”―as a useful diagnostic tool for unravelling the field’s position as both a producer and a product of the capitalist system―and, as such, a field with a vested interest in the system’s perpetuation. Through naming it “impossible“, we seek to highlight the impossibility for design methodologies to single-handedly provide solutions to issues that are far too broad for its reach. Although design―or at least the hegemonic conception of what design is, and what it does―is indeed a powerful actor within capitalism, it is also fundamentally entangled within its network of power. Our approach does not seek to teach students a methodology for creating simple solutions to complex problems. Rather, we make use of mapping and connecting practices that seek to unravel design’s complacency, and its often direct involvement with the exploitation of land, work and bodies. We aim, together with students, to unpack the field’s entanglement with various forms of racial, ethnic, and gendered violences. We interrogate the possible futures design draws for a society that is still trapped within an endless cycle of colonial dependency. And, most importantly, we reject the notion that design methodologies and educational practices are universally applicable, and removed from their cultural, geopolitical, economic, and social context.

Within the environment of the classroom―be it already established within a university or a temporary locus for a workshop―we encourage students to interrogate human-made, designed objects based on their own relationship to them. We ask them to bring objects that represent a set of keywords we provide beforehand. We then begin the workshop by engaging with the necessity of design to be a situated practice, and the contingent material relationships between artefacts and their cultural, social, economic, and idiosyncratic meanings. We then break down these relationships by interrogating the processes within and outside the object’s own design, relying solely on that which the students already know or can elicit from just handling the object. Through that process, we seek to map how colonial, neoliberal labour relationships are more often than not obscured and erased from design processes. Students then plot these relationships in any way they feel more comfortable with; at a later moment we encourage them to critically consider the “gravitational pull” certain power relationships have over others, and to speculate and fabulate together on the different materialities and relations that can emerge by shifting the balance of their maps. More often than not this leads to stories about unionising, revolution, protest, newer forms of social organisation, and even desires for new political systems. These practices become glimpses of what Paulo Freire has called “prophetic (and, as such, hopeful)” educational measures. 25 They encourage designers to think beyond what university curricula teach them, and what they should do to extend to what they can (and ought to) do.

Ahmed Ansari

The mirror to the decolonial project of delineating design’s complicitness in sustaining modern colonialism that Luiza and Pedro have discussed above is that of recovering alternatives to it. As De Sousa Santos notes in Epistemologies of the South (2014), the West has reached the limits of its critical traditions―it has exhausted the possibilities of its epistemologies and systems of knowledge. 26 However, in “the rest”―even within the milieu of modernised practices within local institutions that trace their intellectual genealogy to forebears in the West―kernels of indigenous thought from dead or dying institutions still continue to persist and haunt, in a very Derridean sense, the practices and discourses of the modern. 27 Within the classrooms and faculty rooms of academic institutions, hidden from the awareness of global design discourse, concepts old and new, marginal and hegemonic, continue to clash and negotiate, enacting themselves through pedagogical practices and proclivities.

The notes here come from discussions between design academics and practitioners from various institutions in Karachi held at a series of workshops, prompted by a discussion of the myths, metaphors, and models underlying the most deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and values we hold about things. Participants were divided into groups and each given a concept to discuss. The nature of the prompt invariably led to a reflection on how these concepts were rooted in local cosmologies, and how these shaped the way faculty created, taught, and evaluated content. The four words given were: creativity, craft, artefact and ideation. What I wish to show is that despite the ongoing epistemicides under the totalizing modern world-system, alternative conceptions of, and relations to, designing and the designed, can be salvaged by holding the very conditions of possibility for what we take to be as ‘given’ to us in design from the syncretic present that constantly resists and negotiates with the onslaught of the modern.

One of the recurring themes of the discussion was the importance of the role of ámad―or, in transliteration from the original Farsi, from which Urdu took the word, “arrival”―in the creative process. Ámad has no equivalent in English or any other European tongues: perhaps the closest that we can get to it is “the moment of inspiration or insight”.  In Western design literature, “creative leaps” have often been theorised as the result of the exploration of problem spaces to discover “appropriate concepts”, 28 or as “critical moves” that open up a great many potential avenues for further moves in the design process. 29 However, as was pointed out during the discussion, while in the West insight is something that comes from within the subject, characterised by a self-directed “action” accompanied by an shift in perspective prompted by the observation of something external, ámad is very clearly something that “arrives” from outside the designer or artist. Perhaps a closer cognate to ámad could be found in the word “revelation”, which in Urdu, borrowing from the Arabic, renders as wahi (وحي). In Islam, particularly in the kind of Maturidi theology that is widespread throughout Pakistan, all creation follows the directive of divine law―in fact, the very act of creation, especially when we speak of mundane natural processes of birth or the transformation of matter and energy, is the outcome of a creative act. Thus, the will of the divine finds its expression through revelations visited upon prophets. However, since all creative acts are imbued with this element of “revealed” law, it is not surprising that, like prophets, poets, philosophers, scientists and artists, designers are also visited by the gift of revelation. It is this more general act of “revealing” or disclosure that Urdu terms ámad.

One can also perhaps relate the usage of ámad in the Indian subcontinent in the context of general creativity to its Vedic counterpart, pratibhä, or “illumination”, which is again divinely inspired, “for the good poet reluctant to take what belongs to another, this blessed Sarasvati will provide material as desired”. 30 In both cases, the source of insight is beyond the creative subject, delegated to the realm of the sacred. As we discussed, this form of disclosure does not come through a step-by-step process of “move-making” ―rather, it may or may not “arrive” as the outcome of a seemingly chaotic process in which the designer wanders and weaves through thought encouraged materially, and yet is subject to the confluence of things and events outside of the immediate space that they occupy. In other words, we can read the designer as being merely the sensitive conduit for forces external to them that is sparked by an accumulation of potential―the participants describing the word “ideation” represented ámad as a winding loop of string inevitably gathering around a free-floating concept or idea that “calls” to the subject, as opposed to what they described as the “Western” process of arriving at ideas through a linear set of moves. This “pull” of the event that calls the creative subject to it is consistent in both Vedic and Indo-Islamic as being described as overflowing with affectivity; in fact, this is the cornerstone of rasa theory, the Vedic theory of performative and literary aesthetics. Therefore, while one cannot term the creative process as “methodical”, it is indicative of a particular kind of sensitization, a heightened sensitivity to “the uncontainable affect” of emergent experience 31 ―obsession may lead to revelation, but so does a reflexive, almost intuitive awareness of when one is close to the moment of disclosure. Thus, the heavy emphasis on free exploration through material backtalk, as well as a near constant immersion throughout undergraduate schooling in aesthetic experience―these become the means to building a heightened sensitivity to the affectivity of things.

One can also relate these beliefs to the cults that form around brilliant celebrity designers, as was raised in the discussion, and their association with the still prevalent “guru-chela” or master-apprentice system; or to the popular belief that creativity is inherited and tends to run in families, or that it sometimes “marks” people from otherwise unremarkable families for greatness. This accounts for the fact that, until recently, designers were hardly held accountable for their process in Pakistan―for, if creativity comes from a kind of heightened sensitization, than it is also something akin to madness, and needs no justification. Here, Michel Foucault’s description of the classical European idea of madness as engendering an absurd wisdom comes to mind. 32 Like artists, designers in Pakistan too fall into the category of a special class of madmen who “obsessively (and aimlessly) work through sleepless nights”, to use one participant’s phrase, turning madness into a form of frenzied method. Another participant talked about how difficult it is to teach some students a methodical process, since it was common among talented design students to come up with something brilliant and then create the process for it afterwards, just to make the grade allocated for process―a programme head talked about how some faculty would not grade process or “let it go”, making exceptions for students deemed to be “inherently” brilliant. In any case, while we all agreed that the inevitable modernisation of design education in recent years had begun to chip away at these traditional notions, there was still some truth to the adage that

Every act of human excellence needs some madness

You may have all the wisdom of the world

But you shouldn’t be without madness.

―Abdul-Qādir Bedil 33


A key claim that underrides the discussion here is that neither “design”, “education”, or the “university” itself are politically neutral with respect to the coloniality of power and knowledge. 34 While such an assertion is not new for design studies, the concept of coloniality brings with it an emphasis on plurality and colonial difference that remains broadly unfamiliar and under-theorised within design studies. Matthew Kiem’s reflection on the intellectual and governmental origins of design education suggests that the side-lining of questions related to the coloniality of power has helped sustain the existence of a critical blind spot within the field: one that is at the same time a major warrant and condition of the field’s own reproduction. Rather than characterising this as mere intellectual deficiency, however, the discussion has approached the coloniality of design education as a problem of power. Effectively, “design’s” resistance to thinking coloniality is related to the capitalist-colonial conditions that produced “design” as a theoretical object. On the one hand, this makes the coloniality of design education a problem that is open to practical engagement and transformation. On the other, however, there is a need for practitioners to contend with the terms of entry into the field itself; something that requires at least some level of concession to the very same mode of intellectual production that is being called into question.

To be in a position to engage “design education” in critical terms, one has to have already been shaped by capitalist-imperial designs of design education. While the relation between the struggle for change and the terms under which that struggle occurs may appear as a contradiction, it is worth acknowledging that the practice of creatively redirecting the terms of colonial impositions is the ordinary condition of action and thought for colonised subjects. This form of border epistemology 35 ―the double movement between the political-epistemological conditions of the “West” and the practices of resistance it calls forth―are the conditions under which Luiza Prado, Pedro Oliveira, and Ahmed Ansari discuss their strategies for shifting design education towards decolonising alternatives. Two strategies of this kind have been presented: a methodology for redirecting the tools of designerly exploration, and expanding the scope of what this exploration might encompass, to embrace methods found in cultural studies, performance, and so on; and an exercise in retrieving and asserting an indigenous concept of designerly knowledge against the imposition of “Western” rationalistic mode of thought. While both strategies ought to be read as formative and exploratory efforts―and, thus, open to criticism, revision, and change―these are nevertheless the efforts of practitioners who take seriously the imperatives of decolonisation: not simply as a matter of choice but as a matter of survival.


  1. Grosfoguel, Ramón. “The Structure of Knowledge in Westernized Universities: Epistemic Racism/Sexism and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long 16th Century”. Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge. Vol. 11. No. 1. 2013. Available online at: https://scholarworks.umb.edu/humanarchitecture/vol11/iss1/8(accessed 2018-13-09.)
  2. Ibid.
  3. Escobar, Arturo. Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds. Durham and London: Duke University Press Books. 2018.
  4. Thomas, Kerry and Kiem, Matthew. “Teaching as Defuturing”. Paper delivered at the 2nd International Conference on Design Education, 28 June-1 July 2010, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
  5. Dutta, Arindam. The Bureaucracy of Beauty: Design in the Age of Its Global Reproducibility. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis. 2007.
  6. Ibid., p. 5.
  7. Simon, Herbert A. The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 1996.
  8. Manzini, Ezio. Design, When Everybody Designs: An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 2015.
  9. Irani, Lilly, and Six Silberman, M. “Stories We Tell About Labor: Turkopticon and the Trouble with ‘Design’”. UC San Diego. May 2016. Available online at https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8nm273g3(accessed 2018-09-12); Irani, Lilly. “‘Design Thinking’: Defending Silicon Valley at the Apex of Global Labor Hierarchies”. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Vol. 4 . No. 1. 2018. pp. 1-19. Available online at https://catalystjournal.org/index.php/catalyst/article/view/29638/pdf(accessed 2018-09-13.)
  10. Grove, Richard H. Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1996.
  11. Mitropoulos, Angela. “Archipelago of Risk: Uncertainty, Borders and Migration Detention Systems.” New Formations: A Journal of Culture/Theory/Politics. Vols. 84-85. 2015. pp. 163-183. Available online at https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_formations/v084/84.mitropoulos.html(accessed 2018-13-09.)
  12. Keshavarz, Mahmoud. “Material Practices of Power―Part I: Passports and Passporting”. Design Philosophy Papers.Vol. 13. No. 2. 2015. pp. 97-113. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/14487136.2015.1133130(accessed 2018-09-10); Keshavarz, Mahmoud. “Material Practices of Power―Part II: Forged Passports as Material Dissents”. Design Philosophy Papers. Vol. 14. Nos. 1-2. 2016. pp. 3-18. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/14487136.2016.1246833(accessed 2018-09-10.)
  13. Cardoso, R. Uma introdução à história do design. São Paulo: Ed. Blucher. 1999. p. 76.
  14. Ibid.
  15. See http://www.esdi.uerj.br/a-esdi/historia(accessed 2018-13-09.)
  16. Souza, P.L.P.D.ESDI: biografia de uma idéia. São Paulo: Eduerj. 1996.
  17. Washington Lessa (1994), cited in Braga, M. da C. “Constituição do campo do design modernos no Brasil e o ensino pioneiro da Esdi e da FAU USP”. In ABDI e APDINS-RJ: história das associações pioneiras de design do Brasil. São Paulo: Blucher. 2016. pp. 25-86.
  18. Cardoso, pp. 172-174.
  19. Schroeder, Caroline Saut. “A Bienal em Xeque e o Estopim do Boicote: Sobre Algumas Estratégias Radicais”. Presented at the 25. Encontro da ANPAP―Arte: seus espaços e/em nosso tempo. Porto Alegre. 2016. Available online at http://anpap.org.br/anais/2016/simposios/s2/caroline_saut_schroeder.pdf(accessed 2018-13-09.)
  20. Leon, Ethel. “O design do Brasil nos anos 1970, autonomia em curso. Agitprop”. Revista Brasileira de Design. Vol. VI. 2014. Translation by the authors.
  21. Canas, Adriano Tomitão. MASP: Museu laboratório. Projeto de museu para a cidade: 1947-1957. PhD dissertation. Federal University of Uberlândia. São Paulo. 2010.
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  24. Ibid., p. 74.
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