Decolonizing participatory design: Memory making in Namibia

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Participatory Design (PD) approaches seem particularly well suited
to contribute to debates over power and decolonization in design,
yet often lack considerations of cultural situatedness and underlying ontological entanglements. In this paper we identify theoretical
and methodological gaps in PD relating to contemporary discourses
of decolonizing design. We integrate perspectives from PD and post-
colonial discourse to explore how we can create more far-reaching
examples of decolonizing design in practice. We present a study in
which young Namibians are at the forefront of knowledge produc-
tion on postcolonial memories and contribute to discussions of how
decolonizing PD practices may be developed through contextualized, transdisciplinary, and transcultural approaches. In particular,
we argue there is a need for a “safe space,” as well as continuing
reflection on methods and de-linking of knowledge and epistemologies within the PD process itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication In Proceedings of the 16th Participatory Design Conference 2020 - Participation(s) Otherwise - Vol 1
PublisherACM Association for Computing Machinery
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 385839490