- Schedule of Classes - September 29, 2023 7:54PM EDT
- Course Catalog - September 29, 2023 7:35PM EDT
Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2023-2024.
This course explores the role of design in reshaping the world towards social justice and sustainability. Designing for change requires creating different cultural patterns and worldviews — examining taken-for-granted assumptions, narratives, and myths of the hegemonic cultural model (known as Modernity) that limit our capacity to imagine the world differently. As the world is enmeshed in colossal interconnected crises, it seems that imagination has been funneled to two avenues: techno-solutions to the symptoms of the crises and dystopic futures. This course explores two main ideas: a) alternatives are possible, b) the area of design for change would benefit from exchanges with different cultures and knowledge systems. Designing decolonial futures is about weaving together knowledge from multiple cultures, thus recognizing and creating alternatives based on different ways of understanding the world.
When Offered Fall.
Distribution Category (CA-HE, D-HE, HA-HE, LAD-HE)
Course Attribute (CU-SBY)
- Students will be able to understand what is at stake in the international movement to "decolonize design" and the importance of detaching design from the assumptions, promises, and values of Modernity/Coloniality to generate significant change. Students will be introduced to the main theories and approaches used in decolonial design: decoloniality, pluriversality, epistemologies of the South, transition discourses/design, speculative design, and design for social innovation.
- Students will be able to recognize structural features of the Eurocentric Modernity at the root of social inequities and unsustainability (which connect social and environmental crises). Without examining these structures, designers keep trying to solve the symptoms instead of addressing the causes. Particularly, students will reflect upon the legacy of colonialism on society and the natural environment.
- Students will be able to recognize that narratives frame the way we design. Creating different futures requires new narratives and visions to reframe the design practice and the meaning of technological innovations. Students will be asked to create new narratives to reframe their design practice/research.
- Students will be able to recognize taken-for-granted assumptions and myths of Modernity that hinder the understanding of other cultures, epistemologies, and ontologies—i.e., even when designers want to listen to the Other, the understanding is very limited. Therefore this course aims to enhance the student's capacity to listen to and collaborate with people from other cultures— recognizing and respecting differences in worldviews, cultural patterns, ways of knowing—to generate change.
- Students will be asked to create compelling visual communications, knowledge visualizations, and narratives to communicate the topics discussed in class and their visions of alternative futures to other people. The creative outputs will be assembled into an exhibit that will take place in one of CHE galleries and on a website.
Credits and Grading Basis
3 Credits Graded(Letter grades only)
Class Number & Section Details
- MW M Van Rensselaer Hall 1102
- Aug 21 - Dec 4, 2023
Instruction Mode: In Person
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