Mar 3, 2023
Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook
by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall
Presented by the MIT Press Bookstore, MIT Architecture, and the MIT Morningside Academy for Design
From the excesses of world expositions to myths of better living through technology, modernist design, in its European-based guises, has excluded and oppressed the very people whose lands and lives it reshaped. Decolonizing Design first asks how modernist design has encompassed and advanced the harmful project of colonization—then shows how design might address these harms by recentering its theory and practice in global Indigenous cultures and histories.
A leading figure in the movement to decolonize design, Dori Tunstall uses hard-hitting real-life examples and case studies drawn from over fifteen years of working to transform institutions to better reflect the lived experiences of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities. Her book is at once enlightening, inspiring, and practical, interweaving her lived experiences with extensive research to show what decolonizing design means, how it heals, and how to practice it in our institutions today.
Copies of Decolonizing Design will be available for purchase on site.
Dori will discuss her research and work with Holly Harriel and Alvin Donel Harvey.
Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall is Dean of the Faculty of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto, the first Black person to hold such a post in the world. Her work has been featured in Print magazine, Fast Company, AIGA's Eye on Design, and Design Observer, among other venues. She was awarded the Sir Misha Black Medal in 2022.
Holly Harriel is the Executive Director of MIT COLAB. She has led community transformative work as a senior leader at two community development corporations, a cross-sector collaborative neighborhood development non-profit, and a national community economic development funding agency.
Alvin Donel Harvey, Shí éí Alvin Harvey yinishyé. Tó baazhni’ázhi Nishłį́. Honágháahnii Bashishchiin. Biligana dashicheii. Kiyaa’áanii dashinalí. Alvin is Diné, of the Two Who Came To the Water Clan and was born for the One Walks Around Clan; his maternal grandfather is of German descent and his paternal grandfather is of the Towering House Clan. He is from the Navajo Nation, and currently reside in Cambridge, MA while completing his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics. His research and development as a Diné man centers relationality as a core structure of developing partnerships, systems, and good ways of being.
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