Reading List


DRS Learn x Design Paper: Interalities: a conversation on positionalities, localities, pluralities within design education futures

InterDesigning Network

Viewer: One recommendation for improvement is to provide more examples of Eurocentrism in the design curriculum. It seems inadequate to merely refer to Eurocentrism and not provide rich examples for the person.

IDN: We have provided more examples and emphasised Eurocentrism in the design curriculum as experienced by the authors throughout the text, including:

“My own education was embedded in Eurocentric principles and practices, such as Bauhaus teaching pedagogies, the authority of design ‘masters’ over ‘apprentices’ and perpetuating a ‘universal’ understanding of design based on problem-solving, commercial markets and continued growth and development, which have been mirrored in the majority of my experiences in professional practice.” (p.2)

“Teaching design history under this ethos means not to assume any historical event as universally known or relevant. De-naturalizing history makes it much harder to teach it but also much more significant and ethical. I do not easily want to adopt markers of Western progress like the movable printing press or the so-called industrial revolution as the canonical markers in design history, as one would when upholding Eurocentrism while teaching design. For several students whom I teach and who come from different cultural and national backgrounds, this Western chronology looks exactly what it is, a reduced timeline, a construct that may bear only partial relevance to their knowledge or practice.” (p.6)
“It is interesting to see that the dynamics from Australia also come into play in Aotearoa New Zealand, perhaps due to settler colonialism. And even, despite studying Industrial Design in Mexico, I also learned under the same universal design history canon characterised by Euro-Anglocentrism. For example, parts focused on the British Arts and Crafts movement while ignoring the vast artisanal tradition in Mexico;I could not see myself and my people in the design history curriculum. I recognise that I internalised these design discourses from my formative years and follow the good taste idea of this.” (p.6)

Viewer: Another recommendation for improvement is that the authors can acknowledge other relevant discussions or situate their conversation within the larger conversations of this type that are taking place about positionality, intersectionality, ant-Eurocentricism etc. This would demonstrate an awareness of relevant discourse by Tunstall, Rogal, Berry et al, Rogal, Moses, the work of the DRS's EdSIG and PluriSIG and others.

IDN: Thank you for this comment as we have indeed been inspired by the work of many of the scholars you mention. The following has been added to the introduction:

“We are inspired by many dedicated scholars who are exploring and developing decolonial and pluriversal approaches to design education within their own institutions and detailing their own experiences of this work (Berry at al. 2022, Noel 2022, Noel et al. 2023, Rogal 2020, Tunstall 2023).” (p.2)

Viewer: The conclusion could offer a framework of how Interdesigning could look like where it involves other parties at a bigger scale.

IDN: We have added a substantial new section to the conclusion to signal to how the network is evolving and currently implementing some of the propositions discussed in the article. See page 8:

“The grant has enabled our network — now renamed InterDesigning — to create connections between educators in Australasia, collect and share further positionalities but also, and crucially, share experiences of trying, failing and succeeding, to implement these key learning around positionality, locality, plurality in the classroom. This will be done in two interconnected ways: with the launch of the InterDesigning online platform( and with the organisation of a symposium in Naarm/Melbourne at the end of November 2023. Titled ‘Co-creating the praxis of teaching decolonial, intersectional, and pluriversal design and histories’, the symposium will bring together scholars, educators and practitioners for circles of conversations around the development of decolonial, pluriversal, and intersection approaches to teaching and learning. It will offer attendees a sharing space within our own institutions to discuss our experiences and struggles, and it will produce practical recommendations for change, from what happens in the classroom to curriculum development. These recommendations as well as conversations captured during the symposium will be stored and disseminated on the InterDesigning online platform. We are only at the beginning of something that will grow, as networks do, and that will take unexpected directions and re-shape itself as we go along.”

InterDesigning pays our respect to Elders, Ancestors and Traditional Custodians of the lands where this network was conceived; Wurundjeri, Woi Wurrung, Boon Wurrung language groups of the Kulin Nations, Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples of the Eora nation, and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki iwi (tribes). We also pay respects to our own ancestors and acknowledge how they have shaped the stories and knowledges we share here.