De:colonising de:sign is a project that started off with an interest in alternative design pedagogy that deviated from the western euro-centric perspective. It evolved into a larger discussion on epistemological practice. The focus shifted onto bringing value in alternative design knowledge systems as well as examining the role of power, privilege and wealth in a design education system. This is an ongoing project that finds different methods and approaches to introduce decentralizing insitutional practices.
Can we re-think our visual understanding of a particular symbol? Are our symbols and icons inherent in our understanding because of what language we have accessible to us?
The challenge is to redesign commonly used symbols.
Participants are meant to do the exercise offline and use an analog means to depict the symbols (for example– pen drawings, collection of leaves, a voice recording) to come up with their own interpretations of these symbols. The list of the symbols and icons will be prepared on a Google Docs which also will be where the participants submit their work (through a photograph, voice recording, link etc).
In the conversation I had had with Kumkum (click here), she mentioned how in a trip with her design students to a village, she created an exercise where her students had to depict the symbol of water. The design students drew waves, whilst children from the village depicted water with a black dot. It was a well.
This lead me think of how are visual language is formed by our experience and how it looks like void of tools which let these visual languages become standardized.