2017

A Decolonial Academy? Addressing the Oxymoron: How a Series of Performative Art-Science Creative Encounters Might Serve as a Toolbox of Ideas

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Design Education Strategy

Disciplinary practitioners are challenged to respond urgently and positively to calls to decolonize the academy. There is an expectation that the learning experience as well as the curriculum content needs to be fundamentally reshaped in response to the socio-political-economic realities of this century. To add to the complexity, as daily newscasts confirm, outside the ivory towers there is a growing sense that all is not well with the world, and that there is a need for radical social change.

A Holistic Approach to the Decolonisation of Modules in Sustainable Interior Design

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Interior & Furniture Design

This paper stems from the need to develop and deliver a new module in sustainable interior design (BASD6B2) at a 2nd year level within a new Degree programme at the University of Johannesburg, in 2017.  This module’s development however relies on a reflection on another sustainable interior design module (BASD6B1) in the curriculum, offered at a 1st year level. The paper also secondly arises from the national call for the transformation and decolonisation of education programmes in South African tertiary institutions.

A Decolonised Approach to Developing Training Materials for Low-Literate Participants of Rural Sewing Income Generating Projects

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Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Whilst training materials can be effective tools for addressing skills training needs, inherently colonised approaches undermine their anticipated benefit and use. Developers of skills training materials are customarily highly trained professionals, academics and practitioners who are often culturally and otherwise separated from the population for which their materials are intended. As a result, they may overestimate their end-users’ abilities to read and understand textual information effectively.

Role with the Students: A Social Constructivist Decolonising Teaching Strategy for Visual Literacy in Fashion Design Programs

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Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design

Visual literacy is a core competency required to express and reinforce cultural identity through clothing in the realm of fashion, and is therefore important within the context of decolonising fashion design education. Traditionally, curricula focused on the Euro-centric concept of fashion and accordingly, teaching methods and design products expected from students were mostly applicable within this context. Nevertheless, in South Africa, due to political and educational reform, the demographics of students in fashion design programs in Universities have changed radically over the past two decades to include diverse African and South African cultures.

Axis Mundi: A Pedagogical Exploration of the Decolonising Potential of Mythology

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Design Education Strategy

The postmodern condition is such that economies, globalisation, technologies and societal norms have undergone drastic changes and rapid progressions. All of which has made an undeniable impact on the state and function of contemporary education. In a world now orientated towards a “knowledge-based economy”, it becomes ever more pertinent to grapple with not only how knowledge is defined but also how knowledge is constructed and acquired. The #Decolonise movement makes a call for a knowledge based economy that can be understood as vernacular in nature – knowledge structures that are relatable or relevant to specific regional or cultural origins.

Past + Present = Future? The Potential Role of Historical Visual Material and Contemporary Practice in De-Colonising Visual Communication Design Courses

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Graphic Design & Visual Art

This paper suggests two possible approaches to researching and conceptualizing aspects of a de-colonized design education for Graphic Design/Visual Communication Design (VCD). Concepts from Post-colonial theory, such as Ngugi wa Thiongo’s decolonization of the mind, Afrocentrism, Homi Bhabha’s hybridity, and appropriation, along with aspects of Social Identity theory are drawn on as means of investigating these approaches.

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