A roundtable delving into counter-hegemonic histories of design education, with the aim of reimagining possible futures.
The dominant history of design education has been shaped by institutions such as Bauhaus, Ulm School, the New Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and others—all of which are primarily located in Western Europe and North America. These schools have disseminated modernist ideas of universality, neutrality, and progress. Despite this prevailing narrative, numerous feminist and decolonial educational initiatives have emerged, challenging the hegemonic norms of design education and envisioning alternative approaches.
This roundtable discussion aims to bring together design educators, historians, and researchers to explore the histories of design education and practice spanning from Chile through Brazil and up to Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. The objective is to unearth counter-hegemonic threads within design education, shedding light on perspectives that have historically been marginalized. By delving into these stories from the past, the discussion reflects on potential learnings and possibilities for envisioning the future of design education, pedagogy, and practice. Through this exploration of counter-hegemonic narratives, the roundtable aims to inspire a reimagining of design education that is situated and horizontal and contributes to fostering social justice.
Cherrypye (she/her) is a post-colonial, pan-African hybrid ethnographic creator i.e. a designer, independent researcher, and writer. Her artistic practice employs storytelling and design to counteract stereotypes and discriminatory narratives through a feminist, anti-racist, and decolonial lens. Her research focuses on deconstructing the embedded Eurocentric colonial gaze in design education by exploring it through indigenous and ancestral creative practices. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, she now lives in Zurich, Switzerland. She holds an MA in Visual Communication Design at Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK, where she also currently works as a research assistant in the Department of Design.
Clara Meliande (she/her) is a Brazilian graphic designer, researcher, and educator. She holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Design from the School of Industrial Design of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (ESDI/UERJ) in Brazil, where she is an associate researcher at the Design and Anthropology Laboratory (LaDA). Her research explores the history of design education in Brazil, specifically focusing on design schools proposed during the 1960s and 1970s that, for various reasons—personal, political, or circumstantial—remained unrealized. To imagine how these schools could have worked, speculative and critical fabulations were used as methodological tools.
Josefina Vidal (she/her) is a designer and researcher exploring the intersections between design and crafts from situated creative practices in Chile. Her latest project, “Biographies of Crafts: Women Creating in Prison 1973-1990,” explores crafts made by women in detention centers during the Chilean dictatorship. Josefina has taught theoretical and practical courses in design programs at the University of Chile and at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, employing critical thinking about the discipline into the foundation of her role as an educator. She authored “Finding the She: Co-designing a Feminist Design Memory” (2022), which explores how female students in design programs experience the lack of representation of women in the contents of design history modules. Currently, Josefina is pursuing a Ph.D. at King’s College London, U.K., researching women’s weaving communities in southern Chile and the preservation of traditional knowledge in basketry and loom weaving.
This special free event is part of Design Educators* Unite!—a paid lecture series for design teachers, researchers, and students that shares feminist practices from within.
Register below to attend the whole series:REGISTER HERE
The lecture series is accessible through a sliding-scale price structure:
- Solidarity: CHF 280
- Standard: CHF 140
- Student: CHF 70
- BIPoC+Student: CHF 35
If you can afford it, please consider paying the solidarity price to support Futuress’ free learning and publishing program. For students with limited finances, particularly those self-identifying as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and majority world, we offer a BIPOC+ student price. We trust your honesty and do not require proof of self-identification for enrollment.
For institutions keen on facilitating their students’ and staff’s participation, we provide discounted passes. Should your institution express interest please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are more than happy to tailor an offer to your specific needs.
By registering for this lecture series, you not only enter a transnational community centered around design politics, but you also support the work of commissioning, editing, and publishing original counter-narratives, and help to finance our free online learning program.
Full Program Overview
Feb 22 | 6 pm CET – special free event
Navigating the Past, Envisioning the Future: Unearthing Feminist and Decolonial Threads in Design Education
with Cherrypye (she/her) Creator, Educator & Researcher
Clara Meliande (she/her) Designer, Researcher & Educator
and Josefina Vidal (she/her) Designer & Researcher
Mar 21 | 6 pm CET
Otherwise Realities: Communal Care, Decolonization, and The Design School
with Layla Gharib (she/her)
Designer, Researcher & Educator
Apr 4 | 6 pm CEST
Unmanageable Subjects: Trans Childhoods and Civic Learning in the Elementary Classroom
with Harper B. Keenan (he/him)
Educator, Learner, Writer & Scholar
Apr 11 | 6 pm CEST
Queering Design: Moving Towards Emergent Practices
with Sloan Leo Cowan (they/he)
Community Designer, Facilitator & Educator
May 2 | 6 pm CEST
Social Design Practices: From the Popular Neighborhoods to the Faculty of Design
with Giuliana Córdoba (she/none)
and Emilia Odriozola (she/her)
from the Student Movement Auge FADU
June 6 | 6 pm CEST
Feminist Killjoy Design Pedagogy: On Emphasizing Joy
with Elizabeth Chin (she/her)
Anthropologist & Ethnographer