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Decolonizing design research

Van Amstel, F. M. C. (2023). Decolonizing design research. In: Rodgers, Paul A. and Yee, Joyce (Eds). The Routledge Companion to Design Research (pp. 64-74). Routledge.

Abstract: Design research played and still plays a significant role in the coloniality of making. By transforming natural commodities imported from former colonies into manufactured Things that are later exported back to such places, design research contributes to keeping the geopolitical divide between designing and making, which is so typical of colonialism. Nevertheless, counter-hegemonic efforts, such as the decolonizing design movement, seek to open up design research to support autonomous development in former colonies and their diaspora. While adding a dialectical-existential perspective to this movement, this chapter scrutinizes the colonial legacy of design research and proposes subverting it through anthropophagy and similar alter/native universals.

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Bonus material: podcast interview

Amyris Fernandez inquired the author on his engagement with the decolonizing movement for her Muvuca podcast.

Bonus material: music playlist

Listen to the songs the author heard while writing this chapter. The following playlist has the finest and latest Brazilian songs on the decolonizing process.

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