Learning in Design for Sustainability

This PhD research project is titled; Anti-oppressive and decolonial design for sustainability – learning to become together

Nicholas Torretta

A fundamental change needed in our society to reach sustainability is the shift from an oppressive and competitive to a just and collaborative way of organization (Manzini and Vezzoli, 2002; Ostrom, 2009; Schumacher, 1973).

This research project explores anti-oppressive and decolonial approaches to Design for Sustainability.

The overarching frame is of learning (to) design from a Gaian perspective (Lovelock 1995, Latour 2015), asking "how do we do things together since we are together anyway?". I argue that, if we do not pay attention to design and its situatedness, we may sustain structures and practices of oppression and colonization. Seeing pedagogy as a way of being with and in and as the world, I use critical pedagogy (Freire, 1996) and de/post-colonial discourses (Mignolo, 2000; Escobar, 2018) as a frame to explore how design for sustainability can support diversity and emancipation.

Supervisors: Johan Redström and Brendon Clark 

Areas of interest: Design for Sustainability, Anthropocene, Postcolonial studies, Participatory Design, Design Anthropology, Sustainability Science and Social Innovation.

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