Decolonizing Design Innovation: Design Anthropology, Critical Anthropology, and Indigenous Knowledge

Tunstall, Elizabeth (Dori)

This chapter proposes the methodology of design anthropology as an answer to how one might create decolonized processes of design and anthropological engagement. It explores what design anthropology is, its intellectual foundations and its principles, and describes the first phase of the Aboriginal Smart Art project as a case study of its principles in practice. In the Design for Social Impact initiative, Western design companies generate innovation, which places them at the top of the design innovation process. In the Design for Social Impact initiative, values of design thinking draw from a progressive narrative of global salvation that ignores non-Western ways of thinking rooted in craft practices that predate yet live alongside modern manufacturing techniques. Design anthropology enacts the critique of positionality and power articulated by Third World scholars, indigenous scholars, and second and third wave feminists by reframing the problem areas of social impact as within the value systems of imperialism.