Colonial contact and influence has shaped the contours, ambitions, and practices of the various fields of design and planning. It has favored the reduction of differences while undermining the asymmetries between centers and peripheries. To query and counter colonial entrenchments within design practices in places that are either developed or developing, this group asks: How might postcolonial and decolonial theory help us expose, analyze, and remediate the colonial inheritances of design theory and practice?

‘Design’ is defined broadly in order to break down disciplinary and institutional jurisdictions while tackling various scales and forms of knowledge practices in the shaping of material worlds. 

Funded by the Institute of Arts and Humanities, UC-San Diego

︎ Participants
︎ Email



+ What is colonial about design?
+ How do we unsettle coloniality in individuals and in institutions?
+ How are postcoloniality, decoloniality and anti-coloniality different and similar? 
+ How have current development models been calibrated by colonial infrastructure? 


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Arnold, David. Everyday Technology: Machines and the Making of India’s Modernity. 2015.

Brenna Bhandar, Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land, and Racial Regimes of Ownership, Global and Insurgent Legalities 2018.

Cadena, Marisol de la, and Mario Blaser, eds. A World of Many Worlds. 2018.  

Dutta, Arindam. The Bureaucracy of Beauty. 1st edition. New York: Routledge, 2006.

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