I am part of the complex 'we', a privileged global north perspective, yet one that has been deeply affected by a career working within fashion’s sacrifice zones; a critical nexus where fashion meets colonialism. These living experiences have mobilised a counter-agency of anti-colonial relations and position change (transposition) through the development of alternative practices and methodologies that constructively challenge structural inequalities and dominant narratives of innovation. The topologies below place emphasis on methodology as the route of ethics, intervention, and repair. Experimental ecologies that focus on harnessing the potential of connective aesthetics and creativity as a radical adaption that could be restorative and regenerative, by design.
Embracing difference is both intercultural and inter-epistemic as it translates as being sensitive to culture, it requires the trust of (and with) others and represents practices of bringing together. As a regenerative and decolonising designer, I work with the possibility of restoring value in living through the strengthening of social bonds through design. This direction insists on moving beyond consumer culture in favour of that which places an environmental and social responsibility directly into design work such as that of qualitative relations that redirect design practice towards presence, shared livelihoods, and creating cultures of repair. A relationality paradigm is a system that is mutually co-creative, dialogical, and intersubjective.
As a designer and researcher, this concept can best be understood as an attitude and method to face the world that places significance on stepping back and letting things speak to us, a radical passive receptivity that receives the ways humans and more-than-humans present in their own terms. It is a way of working with life as a connective aesthetic and social learning praxis; language, things, people, and experiences that act as instruments of awareness and change. Through wonder, there is potential for a change in worldview making oneself sensitive to alterity and to Others, feeling- thinking with Others, A mental evolution, that eludes polarity, through material participation that opens and expands understanding of both the social and natural world.
Integration affects the way we relate and connect; it is a taxonomy of language, thoughts, and actions that have a purpose for wholeness, liberation, and justice. How do I enhance integration as a designer? This translates to an integration [rather than the separation] of social, material, and psychological elements of our living experiences. It means that our encounters 'with' difference are not something merely tolerated but seen as part of necessary polarities and inter-epistemic movements through which creativity can spark and perspectives can be bridged. Understood in this way, designing becomes a mode of reciprocal empathy and a metaphor for relationships of repair through active participation as global citizens with spiritual intelligence that are relational, emotional, intuitive, and experiential.
Conferences & Guest Speaker
Guest speakers to discuss our work (co-author, Markus Wernli) and launch event for the IAS Annual Theme 22-23, 'Breathe'. Breathful Design can be further explored through the research paper and through this link: Breathful Design discussion at IAS
Pivot 2021. Paper: Re-mapping the human. Sensory cartography as a tool of integration
2021 NA PhD by Design symposium. Paper: Unsettled design perspectives
2021 - Uncommon Senses. Paper: Uncommon perspectives: Feeling our way back to each other
Pivot 2020 (online). Audio-visual presentation for the story of 'the spirit of the hibiscus' and research paper
Nordes, Helsinki, 2019 – Who cares? Paper: Creativity in transition design; can designers go ‘beyond’ to create positive socio-cultural experiences